American National Basketball Association (NBA) player Bobby Brown issued an apology on Tuesday after he sparked public anger by defacing the Great Wall of China.
On Monday, Brown, a point guard for the NBA’s Houston Rockets, posted a picture on Sina Weibo of a part of the Mutianyu stretch of the Great Wall upon which he had scratched his signature and uniform number. The photo was accompanied by the text, "Had a blast at the Great Wall of China today," the Beijing Youth Daily reported on Wednesday.
The post went viral as many Chinese netizens criticized the player for damaging one of the country’s most iconic cultural relics.
One of the player’s fans commented on Sina Weibo, "This is a world heritage site, not your toilet."
Another netizen posted, "If you truly love this country, you should take care of it."
Brown apologized on Sina Weibo on Tuesday, "I’m sorry for this!! I apologize I didn’t mean any harm by this, I respect the Chinese culture I made an honest mistake…hope you forgive me."
The two posts, however, were soon deleted.
An official from the Beijing Municipal Administration of Tourism told the Global Times on Wednesday that the case is currently under investigation.
"Punishment, such as a fine or warning, will be given to unruly tourists according to their behavior," the official said.
The official also pointed out that designated boards have been set up along the wall upon which tourists can leave messages.
Brown and the Houston Rockets are currently visiting China to participate in the NBA’s 10th edition of the China Games in Beijing and Shanghai.