Zhejiang Guangsha Lions apologised for the picture which was posted on social media and showed a lion in a Mao suit and red-starred hat, along with the slogan: “If you are backward, you will take a beating.”
Fining the team, the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) said that the “design of the poster showed seriously inappropriate information, causing an extremely negative social impact”.
Zhejiang blamed “serious negligence from design and review staff” and said that it had sacked staff responsible.
It stoked controversy on Weibo, with some calling it the biggest fine in the CBA’s history but others demanding even sterner punishments for those behind it.
© Agence France-Presse