The fallout of the Chinese Basketball Association’s recent sneaker ban continues this week after a former NBA player protested the rule by removing his shoes mid-game and walking off the court.
Yi Jianlian, who was waived by the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 24 after signing a one-year, $8 million deal with the team in August, made his return to the CBA on Nov. 2.
In his first game back with the Guangdong Hongyuan Southern Tigers, Yi let everyone know how he felt about the CBA’s exclusive deal with Li-Ning by taking off his shoes and leaving the game.
As a result, GB Times reports that Yi has received a one-game ban for his actions, which could be extended indefinitely if he doesn’t adhere to the CBA’s sanction. Furthermore, Yi’s team was fined more than $7,000 over the incident.
Earlier this week, CBA players took to social media to denounce the league’s new sneaker guidelines, which prohibit athletes from wearing footwear outside of Li-Ning, the league’s exclusive sponsor.
“Today I was told during the game, if I don’t wear the sponsor’s shoes, I’ll be given a technical foul and banned,” Xinjiang Flying Tigers player and Nike-sponsored athlete Zhou Qi wrote on social media.