Sonny Weems was subjected to racial abuse from fans while playing in China.
In a video circulating on social media, fans can be heard repeatedly shouting the “N” word and “get out of China” at the 35-year-old, who plays for the Guangdong Southern Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association. This particular incident happened after the Southern Tigers’ game against the Liaoning Flying Leopards last week.
During the game, a fight broke out between Weems and Chinese player Han Dejun which resulted in both players being ejected. The video below shows Weems exiting the team bus and being met by a crowd of fans yelling the racist slurs. Weems appears to ignore the crowd.
In a statement on Friday, the CBA said it has a “zero-tolerance attitude toward any discriminatory words or deeds,” and in an open letter to fans asked them not to engage in “uncivilized behavior” and “vulgar words.”
“Whether on or off the field, fans should watch the game in a civilized manner, respect each other, do not do anything that damages the reputation of the team,” reads the letter.
Jeremy Lin offered Weems his support via social media, writing on his Weibo page: “The abuse Weems received really was disrespectful, that word carried so much hurt, unfairness and hatred that I couldn’t put into words.”
On Weems’ profile, fans have also left messages of support. “Peace and Love. We will always be behind you,” said one, while another wrote: “I’m sorry. Are you alright now? We always support you and stay here with you.”