Enes Kanter recently came out in support of the Tibetan people.
Over the last couple of years, China has been a big part of NBA discourse as the league tries to go International. Back in 2019, there was a big controversy involving China and Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, who had some choice words about the country and its authoritarian regime. This led to a huge fallout in which the league threatened to never display any NBA games on TV again. Eventually, this got resolved but it wasn’t without some diplomatic action.
Now, China is going after the Boston Celtics following some comments made by Enes Kanter. Recently, the Celtics star sent a message in which he called out Chinese President Xi Jinping, while also calling for the freedom of the Tibetan people. Eventually, Tencent Sports saw the tweets and pulled all highlights from their network.
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“In a video posted on Twitter, Kanter called Chinese President Xi Jinping a “brutal dictator” and said he supports Tibetan people’s “cause for freedom.” The NBA star, who has commented on political issues before, repeated the phrase “free Tibet” three times while wearing a t-shirt with the Dalai Lama on it.
“Under the Chinese government’s brutal rule, Tibetan peoples’ basic rights and freedoms are non-existent,” Kanter said. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not immediately available for comment.”
Kanter has always been known for his political activism, so it should come as no surprise that he would go after another authoritarian regime on the International stage. Once again, however, the NBA will now have to figure out how they will continue working with a country that has shown contempt for certain groups of people.