UPDATE: Now that we have video of what actually happened, Hoya F'in Saxa is my official stance. The way the Bayi Rockets acted is disgraceful and pathetic and as a Georgetown alum and fan I am proud of the way the Hoyas handled themselves. They fought back when pressed but mostly tried to remove themselves from the situation.
Gene Wang of The Washington Post filed his report on the brawl that took place this morning in Beijing between the Georgetown Hoyas and the Bayi Rockets. This will likely be the only unbiased, first-hand account of the melee.
To completely digest what transpired I need to separate my Georgetown University alumnus identity from my Georgetown Hoyas fan self. As an alumnus of the University, let's call this my rationale side, I think what happened is unfortunate. I am not embarrassed, nor am I ashamed. I feel bad for everyone involved, from the players and coaches, to the fans of both sides. It is easy to assign fault to the Hoyas for not taking the higher road and peacefully dealing with a difficult situation. But we were not on the court, we do not know what was being said and we do not know if the players felt threatened. It is also easy to place blame to the Bayi Rockets, a team consisting of members of the People's Liberation Army. They too could have backed down from confrontation; they are a professional team hosting college kids. In the end, both sides are equally to blame and I am grateful everyone is safe and no one was injured. This was supposed to be a friendly-match to promote basketball and emotions got the best of everyone. The most disappointing result of the fight is in the closing line of Wang's article:
Georgetown was scheduled to depart for Shanghai on Friday morning for the final five days of its trip, but it's unclear whether the team will do so.
I hope the Hoyas are able to finish off their trip, although I doubt the scheduled rematch against the Rockets in Shanghai will take place.
As a Georgetown Hoyas fan, I am not happy with what happened but I am proud of the Hoyas for not backing down. Call this my biased side. I mean, look at this damn picture. There is a guy in khaki shorts stomping on Jason Clark. I don't think the Hoyas had a choice but to fight back. After years of being labelled soft by every rival fan and biased media outlet, I am glad to see some fight in the young Hoyas. Let the media spin this anyway they want, it is not a black eye on the program and it will not start World War III. Chinese teams have a history of playing aggressive and starting fights, apparently even in exhibition games. This is of course not what Coach Thompson is telling his players but I think Roy Hibbert said it best::
Hoya Saxa and God Bless the United States of America.