A video of RCD Espanyol winger Wu Lei went viral this week after it showed him refusing to autograph the Chinese national flag at an airport where some fans had gathered to welcome him.
The action by the Chinese star has been largely applauded by internet users, Gobal Times reported.
Wu’s fans were waving small national flags waiting for the striker at an airport in the UK before a game with Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday. The player signed uniforms and gave a few autographs for the jubilant fans.
One fan who did not bring a uniform or photo put two Chinese national flags in front of Wu, waiting for him to sign.
“I should not sign a national flag,” Wu said politely, according to a video posted on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo platform.
The La Liga star then invited fans to take a group photo.
The video went viral on Chinese social media, a few days after Wu scored on English soil during the Sunday game that ended 2-2.
According to China’s National Flag Law enacted in 1990, people burning, destroying, staining or trampling on national flags in public places to disrespect the flag will face criminal punishment.
If the violation is not serious, the person will be detained for up to 15 days.
In 2017, a man was sentenced to two years in prison for cutting up and discarding 66 national flags in two residential communities in North China’s Tianjin Municipality, Shanghai news portal thepaper.cn reported.
The national flag is the symbol of our nation, ” posted one user on Weibo, “and should be well protected and respected. Wu’s behavior suggested that love for the nation is not a slogan but manifest in daily life.”
Another user said Wu taught a lesson to celebrities and common people who carelessly treat a national flag.