During a recent interview, Boston Celtics star Enes Kanter claimed to have been threatened with a ban by NBA officials after making public criticisms of communist China’s slave labor practices.
Kanter does not disguise his contempt for the Chinese regime and its perverse practices related to the exploitation of religious minorities and political dissidents. He has also pressured the NBA and the Nike brand for not supporting him in his criticism of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
But more seriously, Kanter alleged during an interview on CNN that two anonymous NBA officials demanded that he remove the Free Tibet shoes he was wearing before a game.
He said they later insinuated that he might be suspended for his attire, despite not violating any NBA policy.
Faced with the controversial situation, Kanter asked the referees if they felt he was violating any rules, and they admitted he was not, prompting the star not to change his sneakers.
The officials later reportedly approached him to apologize for their attitude, Kanter said in his remarks.
This situation caused him to reflect on whether the NBA was really on his side when he decided to speak out against the Chinese regime’s treatment of Tibet, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Uighurs.
He also accused Nike of telling “a total lie” in its claims that China was not using slave labor to produce its products.
Kanter said the NBA encouraged him to speak out on the issues that mattered to him. He even met for a dialogue with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who reiterated his support in speaking out against China. However, the player questioned the word of league leaders and said he wasn’t sure he believed them.
“I don’t know how much of that is true, because if they were really supporting me, they would have done something. They would have made some kind of statement,” he said.
Regarding the Nike firm, Kanter also fired back, saying:
“Nike stands with Stop Asian Hate. Nike stands with LGBTQ community. Nike stands with Latino community. But when it comes to China, Nike remains silent because China is the big boss for Nike,” he added. “Obviously, they’re not going to be able to answer because they know what they’re doing wrong. They’re one of the biggest hypocrite companies in the world.”
The CNN host again pointed out that Nike publicly denied using slave labor in China.
To which Kanter responded that this is “a total lie.” “Everyone knows there are so many slave labor camps in China and many other countries that Nike is profiting from,” he asserted.
Kanter has stirred up some controversy in the basketball world after recently posting a series of videos on his Twitter account where he can be seen issuing strong statements against the Chinese communist regime for its treatment and persecution of religious Tibetans.
One of them is accompanied by a message that reads, “Dear Brutal Dictator XI JINPING and the Chinese government Tibet belongs to the Tibetan people!”
Shortly after the tweet posted on Wednesday, Oct. 20, highlights of the Celtics vs. Knicks game became unavailable on the Chinese-owned Tencent Sports app, CNBC media network reported.
A few days later, after it transpired that the regime temporarily suspended NBA television broadcasts, the player doubled down on his criticism of the regime’s genocide against Uighurs and other ethnic and religious minorities by writing a tweet that read:
“Heartless Dictator of China, XI JINPING and the Communist Party of China. I am calling you out in front of the whole world. Close down the SLAVE labor camps and free the UYGHUR people! Stop the GENOCIDE, now!”