Former NBA star Dwight Howard is facing a backlash in China after referring to Taiwan as a country in a promotional video alongside the Taiwanese vice-president.
The 37-year-old multiple All Star, who now plays in Taiwan, says in the video that he has “gained a whole new appreciation of this country.”
In the footage, Taiwan’s Vice-President Lai Ching-te describes Taiwan as a “free country”.
Howard’s remarks were criticized in China, with the term “Howard Taiwan Independence” trending on Weibo following the release of the video.
According to the BBC, Howard told local media, “If I offended anyone in China, anybody you know, I apologize.”
Howard has played for the Taoyuan Leopards since leaving the LA Lakers in 2022. Credit: Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs via Storyful