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A French basketball player in China’s professional basketball association was fined for not looking at the Chinese flag while the country’s national anthem was played.
Guerschon Yabusele, a former NBA player who now plays for Nanjing Monkey Kings, was caught on video bowing his head during the playing of the national anthem before a match, Associated Press reports.
His Chinese and foreign teammates are shown in the same footage focusing their gaze at the Chinese flag before their game against Zhejiang on December 6. He was fined 10,000 yuan ($1,421) on Monday by the CBA for not paying attention to the flag. The infraction reportedly goes against what was prescribed in the league’s handbook.
Guerschon Yabusele is fined by Chinese Basketball Association for ¥10k ($1.42k) for not saluting the Chinese national flag during the national anthem ahead of the game against Zhejiang Golden Bulls. It is a courtesy that one should comply with pursuant to the league handbook. pic.twitter.com/8e9za2oLs5
— Titan Sports Plus (@titan_plus) December 7, 2019
The Chinese government enacted laws in recent years regulating where and how the flag, seal of state and national anthem are utilized. Violators are subjected to fines and, in some cases, even detention.
In the NBA and other tournaments, it is not unusual for some players to choose to bow their heads in contemplation when a national anthem is played pre-game.
Yabusele, who played for the Boston Celtics (2017-2019) and the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League (2017-2018), was signed by the Monkey Kings in August. The power forward also played for the Shanghai Sharks in the CBA back in 2016. In 43 games for the Sharks, he averaged 20.9 points and 9.4 rebounds, earning him a CBA All-Star title that season.