Group to give away T-shirts supporting Hong Kong at Raptors home opener
Activist group has raised $34K to print shirts as controversy swirls
A Toronto activist group plans to give out thousands of T-shirts reading "The North Stands with Hong Kong" at next week's Raptors home opener.
The group, which created a GoFundMe page less than a week ago to raise money for the shirts, says it hopes to raise awareness of the ongoing protests happening in Hong Kong and show support by having fans wear the shirts at the game. It's unclear how they plan to distribute them.
A statement on the page reads, "people in Hong Kong have been in pro-democracy protests since June, and continue to face increasing police brutality."
The protestors are demonstrating against what they see as creeping Chinese interference in Hong Kong, which returned to Beijing's control 1997 under a "one country, two systems" formula intended to guarantee freedoms that are not enjoyed on the mainland.
The initial goal of the GoFundMe page was to raise $28,000, but it has already reached over $34,000.
The NBA recently came under fire after Houston Rockets' General Manager Daryl Morey posted in support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong on Twitter. "Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong," he said in a tweet.
The tweet was seen as a show of support for the protests, and resulted in the Chinese government suspending sponsorship and telecast deals with the league.
The NBA issued a statement shortly after it happened and said that Morey doesn't speak for the team or the league, and in a separate statement, Morey apologized.
According to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who spoke Thursday at the Time 100 Health Summit in New York, the NBA has seen "substantial losses" since Morey's tweet. "The financial consequences may go on and be fairly dramatic," he said.