Authorities reportedly confiscated signs supporting the anti-authoritarian Hong Kong protests at an NBA preseason exhibition game in Washington against a Chinese team.

Protesters, some clad in "Free Hong Kong" T-shirts, showed up for Wednesday night’s Washington Wizards exhibition game against the Guangzhou Loong-Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association. Signs supporting Hong Kong protests against the government's effort to bring the city under tighter control by the mainland were confiscated by Capitol One Arena staff, the protesters said.

This comes days after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support for the Hong Kong protests while the team visited Japan for exhibition games over the weekend.

“I knew I had to say something and take a stand,” protester Patrick Hedger told NBC News. The 29-year-old native of Alexandria, Virginia, said he lived in Hong Kong for a short time as a child and went back as part of a study-abroad program. He was among the protesters carrying signs and was reportedly chanting, “We will not bow to Chinese communist oppression” and “Freedom of speech” during the game.

Other protesters also said Wizards’ staff asked them to leave the game if they didn’t give up their signs.

However, the Wizards pushed back in a statement, saying no one was asked to leave the game. They did confirm signs were taken away in accordance with the team’s policies, which says signs are allowed as long as they are not political or commercial.

It’s also the second night in a row an NBA team has had pro-Hong Kong protesters in attendance. Podcaster Sam Wachs, 33, and his wife were in attendance at the Philadelphia 76ers game against Guangzhou Loong-Lions on Tuesday. They said they were asked to leave by team staff during the game.

Chicago Bulls Washington Wizards
The Wizards beat the Bulls in Game One of their series. Reuters