NBA player leaves his mark on Great Wall

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By SUN XIAOCHEN in Bei­jing sunx­i­aochen@chi­nadaily.com

An NBA player trig­gered out­rage on so­cial me­dia by scrib­bling his name and num­ber on the Great Wall.

Bobby Brown, a guard for the Hous­ton Rock­ets who vis­ited China for two pre­sea­son games in Shang­hai and Bei­jing ear­lier this week, posted a photo of his hand­i­work and wrote, “Had a blast at the Great Wall of China to­day”, dur­ing a visit by the team on Mon­day.

The 32-year-old posted an apol­ogy on Tues­day, but later deleted it and the pic­ture.

“We were out en­joy­ing the Great Wall. I wrote my name on the wall. I saw dif­fer­ent writings — I didn’t mean any harm by it. I made a mis­take. It will never hap­pen again. I’ve been play­ing in China for three years now and I have the ut­most re­spect for the Chi­nese cul­ture, and the way of liv­ing here. I just want to sin­cerely apol­o­gize for that,” said Brown, who played in the Chi­nese Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion from 2013 to 2016.

It was not known what ma­te­rial Brown used, but be­fore he re­turned to the United States on Wed­nes­day he told Chi­nese me­dia, “I could have put my hand over it and erased it.”

How­ever, he is still fac­ing a back­lash from Chi­nese ne­ti­zens, who crit­i­cized his apol­ogy.

“Is it funny to say ‘ you don’t mean to harm any­thing’ after you just harmed it? An apol­ogy with­out pun­ish­ment means noth­ing, not to men­tion the in­sin­cer­ity to cover it up by delet­ing the posts,” Weibo user Hur­ri­cane17 said.

Ac­cord­ing to the Mu­tianyu Great Wall Travel Ser­vice, it has been send­ing se­cu­rity and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion ex­perts to warn tourists against tag­ging the wall with graf­fiti.

“No mat­ter who you are, you should not place graf­fiti on the Great Wall. As a world cul­tural relic, the Great Wall needs pro­tec­tion from both Chi­nese peo­ple and for­eign tourists,” a com­pany man­ager said.

A screen cap­ture of the Sina Weibo ac­count of NBA player Bobby Brown.

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