Former NBA guard Jeremy Lin, who now plays professional basketball in China, was fined Friday for criticizing quarantine conditions amid widespread demonstrations against Beijing’s draconian COVID lockdowns, according to news reports.
Lin, who played for eight different NBA teams during a nine-year career that began after he went undrafted out of Harvard, now plays for the Loong Lions Basketball Club. The 6-foot-3 point guard was hit with a $1,400 fine for his comments.
“[Lin made] inappropriate remarks about quarantine hotel-related facilities” where his team stayed Wednesday before a game, the Chinese Basketball Association said in a statement Friday. The comments “caused adverse effects on the league and the competition area,” according to the league.
Jeremy Lin fined $1,400 by CBA for showing shabby gym in isolation hotel on Instagram – The China Project https://t.co/GJDPPPiQtj
— Mass Blog (@massblogxyz) December 2, 2022
The league gave no further details about Lin’s comments, and they were not visible on his Sina Weibo social media account. But a Shanghai news outlet reported that Lin posted a since-deleted video in which he complained about hotel workout facilities ahead of games next week in Zhuji, a city in Zhejiang province.
“Can you believe this is a weight room?” Lin was quoted as saying. “What kind of garbage is this?”
Lin, who grew up in California, the son of Taiwanese parents, is the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA. During his NBA career, he averaged 11.6 points per game. When he cracked the starting lineup of the New York Knicks in 2012, he quickly became a fan favorite and sparked a phenomenon known as “Linsanity” with his hustle and overachieving style. As one of the few Asians to play in the NBA, he appeared on the covers of Sports Illustrated and Time magazine and was named ESPN’s “Breakthrough Athlete of the Year.”
In 2019, Lin played for the NBA champion Toronto Raptors.
The fine comes as Beijing is under pressure from restive citizens for its “zero COVID” policy. Huge crowds have taken to the streets in major cities to protest the government’s crackdown, which requires constant testing, business shutdowns, and quarantining millions of infected citizens in their homes or in special camps. Protests in Shanghai have seen crowds calling for President Xi Jinping to resign.
Demonstrations began Nov. 25 when a fire in an apartment building in Urumqi killed at least 10 people. Angry citizens said the victims were unable to escape because they had been locked inside the building as part of the COVID containment strategy.