Enes Kanter, the NBA star who made headlines a few days ago for posting videos on his Twitter account criticizing the Chinese communist regime’s human rights violations, once again uploaded a video this time denouncing Nike for using Chinese slave labor to manufacture its shoes and apparel, accusing it that while in the United States it advocates freedom, in China it is complicit in the worst abuses.
“Dear Nike,” Kanter wryly greeted. “Your company says that you are making a positive impact on our community.”
The basketball player then lists the movements the company has publicly supported: Black Lives Matter, the LGBT community, the ‘stop Asian hate’ campaign and with the Latino community, perhaps referencing alleged racism.
“But when it comes to China, Nike remains silent,” Kanter said using a more serious tone.
“You do not protest police brutality in China. You do not speak about discrimination against the LGBTQ community, you do not say a word about the oppression of minorities in China. You are scared to speak up!” the Boston Celtics star expressed.
Far from sounding like he was reading a prepared message, the basketballer came across as confident and knowledgeable.
“Who makes your shoes in China, do you even know?” asked Kanter. “There are so many forced labor factories in China! Uyghur forced labor, a modern-day slavery and is happening right now in China.”
The athlete went on to explain specifically that there are millions of Uyghurs detained throughout the country in factories where they are forced to work for free and in unsanitary conditions. They are subjected to brainwashing sessions to ‘educate’ them and many of them die in the process.
Kanter’s claims are backed up by dozens of reports as well as eyewitness. In January 2020, Trump’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, declared that the CCP abuse of Uyghurs in Xinjiang constitutes a genocide. The Biden administration maintained such a designation.
“Did you know that the entire apparel and footwear industry is tainted by Uyghur forced labor? Many well-known global brands are implicated, and, yes, that includes one of the NBA’s biggest sponsors, Nike,” Kanter said.
Nike has repeatedly denied in its official statements that slave labor exists on the production line. But for Kanter, the prepared statement is not enough because he claims that Nike, ‘has no way of proving it’ and has not publicly committed to cutting ties with the Chinese government’s forced labor system nor has it shown that it is willing to do so, beyond a mere statement.
Kanter, appealed to the heart to the nearly half a million followers he has, and perhaps millions more around the world who will watch his video:
“Don’t forget, every time you put those shoes on your feet, or you put that t-shirt on your back, there are so many tears, and so much oppression, and so much blood behind it all.”
To end his message, Kanter challenged the CEO of Nike, and some of its famous NBA rivals who are also known for doing the same thing as Nike, promoting freedom in the United States but keeping silent about atrocities in China, with whom the NBA has million-dollar contracts:
“How about I book our plane tickets for us. Let’s fly to China together. We can try to visit these slave labor camps, and you can see it with your own eyes.”
“Le Bron James and Michael Jordan, you guys are welcome to come too,” Kanter added. “Stop the hypocrisy—stop modern-day slavery now!” were the basketballer’s final words.
Kanter earlier uploaded a video with a Dalai Lama t-shirt asking for the freedom of the Tibetan people who are also subjugated by the Chinese communist regime.
In another post Kanter published a photo of a letter that he claims is an arrest warrant issued by Turkey’s President Erdogan.
It is unusual to see a star of a sport as popular and massive as the basketball league risk losing a million-dollar contract to stand up for his ideals or speak out for those who have no voice.
In recent times there have been more cases of athletes who, for fear of losing their jobs, have betrayed their consciences.