By Tracy You For Mailonline
Published: 13:46 GMT, 9 December 2019 | Updated: 13:46 GMT, 9 December 2019
A former NBA player has been warned and fined after failing to gaze at the Chinese national flag during a national anthem ceremony before a basketball game in the country.
Former Boston Celtics forward Guerschon Yabusele currently plays for the Nanjing Monkey Kings in Nanjing, the provincial capital of Jiangsu in eastern China.
The 23-year-old, who left the NBA in August, was given a 10,000 yuan ($1,420) fine by China's professional basketball association, which condemned him for not paying respect to the national emblem.
Yabusele has apologised to his fans and the Chinese public for his behaviour. He said he was praying at the time.
Footage distributed online showed French basketball player Guerschon Yabusele (circled) with his head bowed while his Chinese and foreign teammates at the Nanjing Monkey Kings directed their gaze at the Chinese flag prior to the game against Zhejiang on Friday
Footage distributed online showed the French native with his head bowed while his Chinese and foreign teammates directed their gaze at the Chinese flag prior to the game against Zhejiang on Friday.
The Chinese Basketball Association, known as the CBA in short, said in an online statement on Saturday that Yabusele's behaviour violated the league's disciplinary guidelines.
The authority said it had decided to give Yabusele 'a serious warning', according to the notice which has been removed from the Association's website for unknown reasons.
Yabusele has issued an apology through his official account on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter.
He said his act was