Outrage over Chinese sports team’s anti-gay message

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An anti-gay flag displayed by a college basketball team in China is sparking outrage.

Huazhong University of Science and Technology located in central China was once known as a school that embraced homosexuality and often hosted events featuring gay speakers and performers, according to The New York Times.

It came as a bit of a shock when the women’s basketball coach, Ling Bing, posted a photo on social media of team members posing with a banner that supported the contrary. The post immediately sparked outrage both online and among the university’s students, with many calling for Ling to be fired and the students involved to be reprimanded.

“Protect traditional Chinese morals,” said the banner which was carried through campus by members of the women’s basketball team. “Defend core socialist values. Resist corrosion from decadent Western thoughts. Keep homosexuality far from campus.”

Activists began using the hashtag #NoQueerNoGame to show solidarity with lesbian athletes at the university, and others are vying for the Chinese government to put greater protections in place for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

“This incident will be over soon, but the scar of it is never going to be erased,” said one user on WeChat, a messaging service popular in China, obtained by the Times. “Don’t wait until the next tragedy to make up for it.”

A counter banner was also created by mothers of gay students at the university on Wednesday.

In response to online ridicule, Ling told reporters the backlash was a “double standard” and questioned why gay students were allowed to flaunt rainbow flags at graduation, but his basketball team’s displaying of its banner was considered offensive and discriminatory for merely voicing an opinion.

“What a pity that the great Chinese Communist Party and the great people of China won’t give you a chance to do that,” he said, in a post on Chinese instant messaging platform QQ, also obtained by the Times.

The Daily Caller reports that Huazhong University of Science and Technology has declined to comment on the matter.

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