What is it with people trying to deface historical landmarks and relics?
Bobby Brown of the Houston Rockets thought, what with him being an international basketball player, the Great Wall of China would be happy to receive his autograph. However, the locals were not impressed.
Brown, who recently visited China as part of the NBA’s Global Games program, learned the hard way that one does not defile 2,000-year-old walls. While sightseeing with other fellow teammates, the athlete apparently couldn’t resist scrawling his name on structure.
Writing on the historical site is, of course, prohibited by the Chinese government.
“No matter who you are, you should not scratch graffiti on the Great Wall. As a world cultural relic, the Great Wall needs protection from both Chinese people and foreign tourists,” a manager with the Mutianyu Great Wall Travel Service Co., Ltd., told Beijing Youth Daily.
For those who absolutely must leave their presence on the wall, there are certain “graffiti zones” for the purpose.
The incident came to light when Brown photographed the graffiti and posted it to China’s Twitter-like microblogging website, Weibo.
Predictably, it did not go well with the Chinese — not to mention the rest of the world.
"Are you proud of your carving? This is a part of world heritage, not the toilet of your home," one Weibo user wrote.
Following the severe backlash, Brown quickly deleted the post — but it was already too late; the damage had been done.
The NBA player was forced to issue an apology and beg “forgiveness” of the Chinese people.
“We were out enjoying the Great Wall. I never been, it was my first time. I wrote my name on the wall in chalk. I saw different writings — I didn’t mean any harm by it,” he wrote. “I made a mistake. I could have just put my hand over it and erased it. It will never happen again. I’ve been playing in China for three years now and I have the utmost respect for the Chinese culture, and the way of living here. I pretty much adapted, coming from the states, here for three years. My teammates, the fans in Shenzhen and the fans all over were great to me, and I just want to sincerely apologize for that.”
Hopefully, this will serve as a lesson to Brown — and everyone else too, for that matter — so he would refrain from doing something stupid like this in the future.