A Chinese media company created a special Lunar New Year video with a collaboration of multiple NBA star athletes. Chinese fans around the world were excited about the stars’ greetings… except one.
The video began with a series of basketball stars giving a special shout-out to their Chinese fans.
They wished everyone a Happy Lunar New Year and thanked them for their support.
But 76er’s J.J. Redick’s greeting became a highly controversial issue as he added in a racial slur in midst of his greeting.
“I wish all of the NBA chink fans of China a very happy Chinese new year.” — J.J. Redick
The word “chink” is racial slang for the term “Chinese”. Not only is it inappropriate but offensive to the ethnic race.
“The NBA has millions of loyal fans in China. They’re our heroes for a lot of young people in China, including me. But yet, during the most celebrated holidays in our culture, we still have to go through racism.”
Fans were not happy, taking to Twitter to show their displeasure with the shooting guard.
Please give our Chinese NBA fans an explanation for JJ Redick the insult to China，It's unbearable for us especially in Chinese New Year.This is serious racial discrimination. pic.twitter.com/Erpv8DWgWx
— Mr.Gao (@Gao990204) February 18, 2018
— kevinyoung (@Yangcan320) February 18, 2018
— 李添雄 (@litianxiong07) February 18, 2018
There is a video about the new years greetings from NBA players.76ers guard J.J.Redick said the word "chink" in the interview.All of us know how disrespectful it is to Chinese.I hope NBA can give us an official statement regarding the above.
— jh13sth (@jh13sth) February 18, 2018
Seriously？JJ Redick used the racist word "Chink" in the official NBA video for celebrating Chinese New Year to Chinese fans. We all know what that means and how disrespectful and insulting it is to Chinese. And we need an official explanation to this. @NBA @espn
— Liao Kuo (@kevinkuo528) February 18, 2018
Redick has originally acknowledged the incident on Twitter but didn’t really clear up the situation.
Just saw a video that is being circulated of me wishing a happy new year to NBA fans in China.Clearly I was tongue tied, as the word I purportedly said is not in my vocabulary. I’m disappointed that anyone would think I would use that word. I love & respect our friends in China.
— JJ Redick (@JJRedick) February 18, 2018
He later issued a longer statement and an apology on Twitter.
Please read. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/phL6v7Voeb
— JJ Redick (@JJRedick) February 19, 2018
“To all our NBA fans in China and everyone celebrating the Chinese New Year, I want to sincerely apologize to anyone I may have offended. After a recent 76ers game, I was asked by the NBA and Tencent to record a video wishing our NBA fans in China a Happy New Year. I was glad to do it, I was intending to say “NBA Chinese fans” but it sounded weird in my mind so I changed it mid-sentence to “NBA fans in China.” It came out the wrong way. At the time we recorded it, no one in the room — not Tencent, not the 76ers PR team and certainly not myself heard the word that I purported to say. Had I known it sounded anything like that, I would have been mortified and recorded the greeting over again. That is not a word in my vocabulary but I now understand how it sounds on the video. That is not who I am — as a person, a player, a husband and a father. I have been fortunate to play in two NBA Global Games in China (2007 & 2015). I loved the experience, the culture, the history, and most all, the people. I ask your forgiveness. This should be a time of celebration. I am so sorry for upsetting anyone.” –@JJRedick
The video had since been taken down, replaced with an edited version that doesn’t include J.J. Redick.
But netizens have captured and uploaded the original versions themselves to spread awareness.