A video featuring NBA players honoring Chinese New Year has fans up in arms and accusing Sixers guard J.J. Redick of using a racial slur. The clip features several prominent NBA players wishing fans a happy Chinese New Year, while some even try their hand at pronouncing various Chinese phrases.
At approximately 22-second mark of the above video, Redick appears to say, “I just want to wish all the chink NBA fans in China a very happy Chinese New Year.”
Due to the poor quality of the audio in the video, it’s uncertain if Redick actually used the slur in question. Upset fans quickly took to Twitter to express their disappointment.
Mr Silver,— lamo.xinzhi (@lamo_xinzhi) February 18, 2018
Hi, this is a message from a basketball fan. I just watched a video in which our beloved NBA players sending their blessings to the fans in China. But what surprises me is that 76ers guard JJ Redick actually said the word "Chink" in the video. We all know what that
If you ever need proof that anti-Asian racism is treated differently, look at how JJ Redick using the word “chink” to refer to Chinese NBA fans is being brushed over.— Geoff Tock (@geofftock) February 18, 2018
I think he pronounced China with a short i at first. I heard Chin and not Chink. #JJRedick— Zinnie (@Zinnie88) February 18, 2018
After apparently being made aware of the video and the backlash surrounding it, Redick directly addressed his statement in the clip via Twitter.
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
“Just saw a video that is being circulated of me wishing a happy new year to NBA fans in China,” Redick tweeted. “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.”
It’s unclear exactly what word Redick was trying to say. Some viewers speculated he was attempting to pronounce a natively Chinese word, as Chris Paul and D’Angelo Russell did in the same video. Others assumed Redick initially tried to say “China” before changing to “Chinese” and got tongue tied between the two.
Another matter than remains to be explained is how the video presumably made it through several rounds of editing and NBA approval before going public.