China Fines Former NBA Star Jeremy Lin Over Quarantine Comments

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
December 3, 2022Chinashare
China Fines Former NBA Star Jeremy Lin Over Quarantine Comments
Beijing Ducks' Jeremy Lin drives the ball during the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) match between Beijing Ducks and Guangdong Southern Tigers in Qingdao in China's eastern Shandong province on Aug. 4, 2020. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

BEIJING—Former NBA star Jeremy Lin, who plays for a Chinese team, was fined 10,000 yuan ($1,400) for criticizing quarantine facilities, China’s professional league and a news report said Friday, as the Chinese communist regime tries to stop protests against anti-virus controls that are among the world’s most stringent.

Also Friday, more cities eased restrictions, allowing shopping malls, supermarkets, and other businesses to reopen following protests last weekend in Shanghai and other areas in which some crowds called for Chinese leader Xi Jinping to resign. Urumqi in the northwest, site of a deadly fire that triggered the protests, announced supermarkets and other businesses were reopening.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is trying to crush criticism of the human cost and disruption of its “zero COVID” strategy, which has confined millions of people to their homes. Protesters have been detained and photos and videos of events deleted from Chinese social media. Police fanned out across Shanghai, Beijing, and other cities to try to prevent additional protests.

china-protesters
Protesters hold up a white piece of paper against censorship as they march during a protest against China’s strict zero COVID-19 measures in Beijing, on Nov. 27, 2022. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Lin, who plays for the Loong Lions Basketball Club, made “inappropriate remarks about quarantine hotel-related facilities” where the team stayed Wednesday ahead of a game, the China Basketball Association announced. It said that “caused adverse effects on the league and the competition area.”

The association gave no details of Lin’s comments and there was no sign of them on his account on the popular Sina Weibo social media platform.

The Shanghai news outlet The Paper reported Lin posted a video complaining about hotel workout facilities ahead of games next week in Zhuji, a city south of Shanghai in Zhejiang province.

“Can you believe this is a weight room?” Lin was quoted as saying. “What kind of garbage is this?” The Paper said the video was deleted after “the situation was clarified” that the hotel was only for a brief stay required by regulations.

A representative of Vision China Entertainment, which says on its website it represents Lin, didn’t respond to a request for comment. Phone calls to Loong Lions headquarters in the southern city of Guangzhou weren’t answered.

Lin, born in California to parents from Taiwan, was the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA.

Lin played for California’s Golden State Warriors in 2010 before joining the New York Knicks in the 2011–12 season. He became the first Asian American to win an NBA championship with the Toronto Raptors in 2019. He played for the Beijing Ducks in 2019 before joining the Loong Lions.

On Friday, there were no signs of more protests.

The CCP’s “zero COVID” policy aims to isolate every infected person. That has led local officials to suspend access to neighborhoods and close schools, shops, and offices. Manufacturers including the biggest iPhone factory use “closed-loop” management, which requires employees to live at their workplace without outside contact.

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