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A French former NBA player has been reprimanded and fined ,400 by sports officials in China for not looking at the Chinese flag during the national anthem Players with the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) are supposed to stare at the national symbol during the "March of the Volunteers"
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A French former NBA player has been reprimanded and fined $1,400 by sports officials in China for not looking at the Chinese flag during the national anthem before a game.
Players with the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) are supposed to stare at the national symbol during the "March of the Volunteers", but television images showed Guerschon Yabusele, who plays for Nanjing Tongxi Monkey King, had his head down before Friday's game.
Yabusele was given a "serious warning" and a 10,000-yuan fine for not looking at the flag as required, the CBA said in a statement on Saturday.
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French basketball player Guerschon Yabusele (left) fined 10,000 yuan (,422) by China Basketball Association (CBA league) after he failed to look at China 's national flag during the pre-game playing of China 's national Anthem. Screenshot from Sina Weibo.
LiAngelo Ball 's father, former basketball player LaVar Ball , issued a statement to ESPN saying: "It is a very unfortunate situation that the Ball The two teams are in China as part of their league's Pac-12 Global initiative, aiming to boost international recognition and the personal experience of players .
Yabusele, who played forward for the Boston Celtics for two seasons before joining the CBA team this year, has not commented on the incident.
China's government has stepped up the promotion of patriotism under President Xi Jinping, with legislation approved in 2017 to punish anyone who disrespects the national anthem with up to three years in prison.
Opinions on Yabusele's punishment were divided on Chinese social media.
"He's happy to take money from China, but he doesn't respect it," one person wrote on the popular Weibo social media platform.
"This player must be expelled immediately and his club must be disqualified from the championship," another said.
But many found the sanction to be harsh.
"It's nonsense. First, he's not Chinese. Moreover, he stood up and didn't make any insulting gesture," one person wrote.
"He has his head down. So what? In what era does the CBA live? It's 50 years behind."
Yabusele is not the first foreign athlete to break patriotic rules in China.
Last year, Shandong Luneng's Brazilian midfielder Diego Tardelli was handed a one-game ban for rubbing his face during the anthem before a game.
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