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March 20, 2019

Sixers' Ben Simmons gives Australia's 'Egg Boy' a shout out during Tuesday's game

The All-Star paid tribute with a message written on his sneakers

NBA Sixers

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons paid a special tribute Tuesday night to the teenager who stood up against an Islamophobic politician in Australia.

Will Connolly, now known as Egg Boy, garnered international headlines in the wake of the tragic mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand last week by smashing and egg on the head of Queensland Sen. Fraser Anning, of Australia's Conservative National Party.

Anning has a long record of anti-immigration and specifically anti-Muslim remarks. He reacted to last week's deadly, mass shooting in New Zealand, which left 50 people dead and dozens more wounded, with a statement condemning the country's immigration policy. 

"The real cause of the bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place," Anning said. 

During a live television interview Saturday, Connolly, 17, snuck up next to Anning and smashed an egg on Annings head. The senator responded by punching the teen in the face. 

Connolly was held down by others at the press conference until police arrived to arrest him. Hordes of supporters have since raised money to cover Connolly's legal fees, but the teen said he plans to donate the majority of the money — more than $70,000 — to the mosque victims.

When the Sixers played the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night, Simmons, an Australian native, wore a pair of yellow sneakers with the words "Egg Boy" written across the side. Teammate Jonah Bolden did the same. 

It's a small gesture, but it's a show of solidarity and another contribution to the Egg Boy lore.