NBA relents, will allow 'Free Hong Kong' slogan on custom jerseys

Customers are also now forbidden from ordering 'F*** Cops' jerseys

Updated: July 14, 2020 - 1:12pm

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The NBA announced Tuesday that it has fixed what it said was an "inadvertent" error on its website that had blocked customers from ordering jerseys from its online store with "FreeHongKong" written on the back. The statement follows backlash against the pro basketball league for not allowing the political statement on its merchandise. 

Customers not being able to request the Hong Kong message was first widely publicized by Fox Sports Radio commentator Clay Travis. He posted on Twitter on Monday that "the NBA bans you ... from putting #freehongkong on customized league jerseys" on the association's web store. 

It is unclear how the error came to be in the first place. Commentators pointed out that even as "FreeHongKong" was banned, users could still purchase jerseys emblazoned with slogans such as "F**KPolice" and "KillCops." At some point Monday, the sports organization forbid those statements from being pasted on its fan jerseys. 

However, there's no indication the fix Tuesday was a policy change, as as result of backlash, as critics have suggested.

Americans and others around the world are opposed to China recently enacted an order that limits political protests in Hong Kong, a territory that over roughly the past year has faced efforts by the ruling Chinese Communist Party to limit its autonomy.


As of Tuesday afternoon, the NBA had made the change, permitting fans to append their jerseys with that slogan if they wish. The association told the Daily Caller that the phrase had been "inadvertently prohibited" on its digital storefronts, but that the error "has now been fixed."

"Fans who wish to customize it, so long as the text meets the 12-character limit, are able to do so," the company said. 


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