“We were just sitting in our seats near the Chinese bench,” Wachs said.
“We were saying, ‘Free Hong Kong,’ " Wachs continued. “What’s wrong with that?”
In a statement to The Post, the 76ers said a number of fans had complained about the two fans’ “continuing disruption.”
“The Wells Fargo Center’s event staff is responsible for the security and comfort of all guests at arena events, including 76ers games. At last evening’s game, following multiple complaints from guests and verbal confrontations with others in attendance, two individuals were warned by Wells Fargo Center staff about their continuing disruption of the fan experience. Ultimately, the decision was made by Wells Fargo Center personnel to remove the guests from the premises, which was accomplished without incident,” the statement read.
In a separate statement on behalf of Wells Fargo Center, the team said the fans had been warned three times about their behavior.
“During the second quarter of last night’s 76ers game, Wells Fargo Center security responded to a situation that was disrupting the live event experience for our guests,” that statement read. “After three separate warnings, the two individuals were escorted out of the arena without incident. The security team employed respectful and standard operating procedures.”
The NBA has been under fire since Friday, when Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of protesters in Hong Kong drew condemnation in mainland China. The NBA’s initial statement about Morey’s tweet was criticized for being too deferential to China, with which it has a long and lucrative financial history, while a statement by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday supporting the right of NBA players and executives to speak freely about human rights was condemned by China.
That country’s state broadcaster announced Tuesday that it would not televise any of the NBA preseason games being played in China this week. In Shanghai, NBA banners promoting Thursday’s Lakers-Nets preseason game are being taken down.
Also Tuesday, an NBA Cares event to benefit the Special Olympics in Shanghai was canceled hours before it was scheduled to begin, along with a fan event scheduled for Wednesday.