The Chinese team that got into a nasty brawl with Georgetown University players in an exhibition game went to the Beijing airport Friday to reconcile and see off their departing rivals ahead of a rematch Sunday in Shanghai.
A brief statement from Georgetown said head coach John Thompson III and two of the team’s players met with representatives of China’s Bayi Rockets following “heated exchanges” in Thursday night’s exhibition game.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said Bayi members went to Beijing airport to see off the Georgetown team and the sides exchanged souvenirs.
“My understanding is that it’s all cleared up,” Cui told reporters at a briefing on Vice President Joe Biden’s ongoing visit to China. “We’re pleased about this outcome.”
The two teams play each other again on Sunday in Shanghai.
Chinese basketball fans slammed Bayi, which is owned by China’s military, for its part in the brawl that forced the cancellation of a match intended to promote U.S.-China goodwill during Biden’s visit.
Video footage showing players punching each other and throwing chairs spread swiftly on the Internet and worldwide TV news.
The Georgetown Hoyas are in China on a 10-day goodwill trip that has been cited by the U.S. State Department as an example of sports diplomacy that strengthens ties between the two countries’ peoples.
Thanks for the hospitality!