Note to international travelers: Locals usually don't take kindly to visitors who deface treasured landmarks.
Bobby Brown, a professional NBA player with the Houston Rockets, apparently learned that the hard way during a recent trip to China.
Brown, who hasn't played professionally for almost six years, recently signed with the Houston Rockets. He traveled to China for the NBA's Global Game and stuck around to do a little sightseeing after a big win against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The NBA player paid a visit to one of China's most iconic landmarks-- the Great Wall-- and decided to leave a little memory of himself behind. Using some chalk, the pro athelete scrawled his initials into a section of the ancient wall and boasted of his artwork on Weibo (China’s version of Twitter): “Had a blast at the Great Wall of China today,” he wrote with a photo of his signature.
That didn’t go over too well with the people of the People’s Republic. Or the rest of the world, for that matter.
The reaction across several social platforms was swift and predictably biting.
One Weibo user wrote of the scrawl: "Are you proud of your carving? This is a part of world heritage, not the toilet of your home."
After mounting criticism, Brown quickly deleted the Weibo post and issued an apology.
"We were out enjoying the Great Wall," he said, according to the Houston Chronicle. "I had never been, it was my first time. I wrote my name on the wall in chalk. I saw different writings — I didn't mean any harm by it. I made a mistake. I could have just put my hand over it and erased it. It will never happen again.
"I've been playing in China for three years now and I have the utmost respect for the Chinese culture, and the way of living here. I pretty much adapted, coming from the states, here for three years. My teammates, the fans in Shenzhen and the fans all over were great to me, and I just want to sincerely apologize for that."
The athelete's social media posts may be gone, but an official from the Beijing Municipal Administration of Tourism told the Global Times on Wednesday that the case is currently under investigation and could carry a fine of up to $1,000.
"Punishment, such as a fine or warning, will be given to unruly tourists according to their behavior," the official said.
There are certain sections of the wall that have been designated as official boards where tourists can leave messages.