Chinese internet police have put a basketball fan in jail after he said he would rather the Wuhan coronavirus “kill thousands” than learn of NBA icon Kobe Bryant’s death.
Before retiring, Bryant, 41, spent 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers playing in the National Basketball Association.
He and his 13-year-old daughter were among nine killed when their helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California, on 26th January.
As tributes poured in after the basketball legend’s death, authorities in the city of Xuzhou, in East China’s Zhejiang Province, said they took into custody a local basketball fan named as Mr Han after one of his comments was flagged by users on 27th January.
Mr Han had been sending group chat messages on Chinese application WeChat when he reportedly wrote: “I would rather see the virus spread and kill thousands than read of Kobe’s death.”
The sensitive comment about the novel coronavirus, which has since killed 132 and infected nearly 6,000 in mainland China, was deemed “inappropriate”, Xuzhou internet police said.
The authorities said Mr Han was arrested on public order charges after his comment “caused a negative impact on society”.
He was given a seven-day detention sentence.
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