Love NBA, Hate BLM: Racism in China’s Sports Fandom
This article aims to explore how racism plays out in China’s sports fandom in the wake of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement sweeping across the globe. To this end, we conducted a case study of basketball fans’ postings on the most popular Chinese-language sports fandom platform, Hupu. The research discovered that the often-negative assessments of the BLM movement posted on Hupu were largely informed by racism deeply held in traditional Chinese thinking, which provided the grounding for Chinese sports fans to appropriate racial discourses to assess progressive equal-rights politics in Euro-American societies. The trajectory of such a discursive practice was twofold, enabling these sports fans to rationalize their political views pertaining to both international and domestic arenas. The research findings urge scholarly attention to the dynamic interplay between regional popular cultures and global equal-rights politics in the digital age in China and beyond.