Raptors fans preparing to give away thousands of pro-Hong Kong T-shirts at home opener

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A protester holds a sign at the Southorn Playground in Hong Kong on October 15, 2019, during a rally in support of NBA basketball Rockets general manager Daryl Morey and against comments made by Lakers superstar LeBron James. - US basketball superstar LeBron James on October 14, 2019, has sharply criticised a Houston Rockets executive for angering China with a tweet supporting protesters in Hong Kong, saying the executive was "misinformed" and should have kept his mouth shut. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) (Photo by ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)
A protester holds a sign in Hong Kong during a rally in support of NBA basketball Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) (Photo by ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)

As the NBA continues to deal with the fallout from Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey wading into the protests in Hong Kong, basketball fans in Toronto are preparing to make a statement at the Raptors home opener next week.

A group of Canadian fans in support of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement have raised more than $34,000 to make and distribute as many as 7,000 T shirts to Raptors fans taking in the team’s season opener Tuesday Oct. 22 vs. the New Orleans Pelicans. The group had set up a GoFundMe page earlier in the week in the hopes of procuring enough money to make 5,000 shirts.

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“As you may know by now, China is trying to censor the entire NBA because Houston Rockets’ General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted a ‘Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong’ photo to support Hong Kong,” reads the GoFundMe page.

“It was a productive Tuesday after the long weekend, and we have finalized the quantity of T Shirt production! We are able to make 7,000 T shirts, which is 2,000 more than our original target! We will cover 35% instead of 25% of the audience! That's 1/3 of the arena!”

The Raptors are not at all involved with the giveaway, nor has the organization officially endorsed it in any way. But as tensions continue to flare between China and the special administrative region of Hong Kong, this group is looking to make a statement north of the border.

"Canada is actually another battleground to fight against China," reads the GoFundMe campaign, which was created by Mimi Lee, the organizer of Toronto's HongKongers Action Group.

"We may have a new government by the time this NBA match happens. Showing the Canadian government how much we stand with Hong Kong will definitely set a tone on the China policy for the new administration."

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