Hong Kong Olympic badminton player's black T-shirt draws pro-China ire | Inquirer Sports

Hong Kong Olympic badminton player’s black T-shirt draws pro-China ire

/ 06:26 PM July 26, 2021

Hong Kong's Angus Ng Ka Long hits a shot to Mexico's Lino Munoz in their men's singles badminton group stage match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza in Tokyo on July 24, 2021.

Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka Long hits a shot to Mexico’s Lino Munoz in their men’s singles badminton group stage match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza in Tokyo on July 24, 2021. (Photo by Alexander NEMENOV / AFP)

Hong Kong’s Olympic delegation on Monday came to the defense of a badminton player who was criticized by Chinese nationalist politicians for wearing a black T-shirt at the Tokyo Games.

Angus Ng Ka-long found himself pulled into a political controversy following his first group match in Tokyo on Saturday.


Ng wore a simple black T-shirt with his initials and the words “Hong Kong, China” during the match. Black T-shirts are sometimes associated with Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.


Other Hong Kong players wore their official outfits that are sponsored by Yonnex and contain the city’s emblem.

Two nationalist politicians criticized Ng’s outfit as unpatriotic, with one of them remarking that black was a color of the democracy movement.

Ng countered that his clothing was not a political statement, adding that he was no longer sponsored by Yonnex and that it met all the competition requirements.


Two senior management members of Hong Kong’s Olympic team defended Ng and bemoaned how the player had been pulled into a political fracas.

“The disturbance has caused some impact,” Pui Kwan-kay, head of the city’s Olympic delegation, told Hong Kong radio on Monday.

“The team and all the staff are handling it with a usual mind and trying to focus on the competitions.”


Kenneth Fok, vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Olympic Committee, also urged for “more space for athletes”.

“Athletes can choose outfits they see fit as long as the clothes meet the International Olympic Committee’s requirements,” Fok wrote on Facebook.

The argument comes at a politically febrile time for Hong Kong.

The city was engulfed by huge and often violent pro-democracy protests two years ago.

China has dismantled the movement with a harsh security law and a campaign to purge the city of anyone deemed unpatriotic.

In that atmosphere, Chinese nationalist politicians are quick to seize on any sign of dissent.

After Sunday’s criticism, the Hong Kong Badminton Association issued a statement saying Ng did not apply for printing Hong Kong’s emblem on his jersey as time was tight and he had to focus on preparations.

His black T-shirt, the association added, was approved by Olympic referees.

In a later social media post, Ng bristled at the criticism sent his way.

“By the way, scold me as you wish, but please get the facts straight first,” he wrote.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Nicholas Muk, one of the Beijing loyalist politicians who criticized Ng, later deleted his Facebook account.


Olympics protest rules relaxed for Tokyo Olympics 

Chinese athletes complain about lax virus measures at Olympics hotel

TAGS: China, Hong Kong, Tokyo Olympics

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.