Freedom declined to be interviewed by phone or in person, but agreed to answer questions over text message. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize why I got little playing time and was released,” he said. “But it does take people with a conscience to speak out and say it’s not right.”
More Rumors in this Storyline
Jeffrey Ngo, a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist in Washington, said Freedom’s criticism of China “must have at least played a role” in his not playing. “All of a sudden there’s all this attention and people telling him to stop talking about it or there would be consequences,” Ngo said. “And then those consequences came.”
Adam Silver, the commissioner of the N.B.A., said in an interview that the league’s position on China had not changed. He also denied that the league had blackballed Freedom, saying that comparisons to Kaepernick were “completely unfounded and unfair.” “We spoke directly about his activities this season,” Silver said, “and I made it absolutely clear to him that it was completely within his right to speak out on issues that he was passionate about.”
He also said the N.B.A. players’ union separately tried to get him to stop wearing the shoes. “Instead of advocating on my behalf, I have encountered the union telling me I need to shut up and stop talking about the human rights violations in China,” Freedom said to The New York Times. Freedom’s story is difficult to corroborate because he would not disclose the names of his antagonists. The union would not comment on the specifics, but said in a statement that it supported Freedom and other players’ speaking out on important issues.
NBA player Enes Freedom (previously Kanter) has been nominated for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize. “I’m honored and humbled to receive the nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize,” Freedom wrote on Twitter. “Sometimes taking a stand is more important than your next paycheck.”
Amid COVID and the social-justice protests of 2020, the league had encouraged self-expression, and NBA players had written various messages on their shoes in Sharpie: black lives matter, say their names, wash your hands. Kanter, who spoke at a Black Lives Matter rally in Boston, was thrilled with the players’ new social awareness. But now two officials were pleading with him to change his shoes. Kanter was preparing for his U.S. citizenship test, and he reminded them of his First Amendment rights. “I don’t care if I’m fined,” he said. “Not fined,” one of them said. “Banned.” Kanter refused. “Go tell your boss I’m not taking my shoes off.” Their boss was the NBA’s commissioner, Adam Silver.
A senior official with the National Basketball Players Association, Kanter’s own union, kept calling and asking him not to wear anti-China shoes. “I talked about Turkey 10 years, not one phone call,” Kanter told me. “I talked about China one day, I’m getting phone calls every hour.” He told the union rep not to call again. When Kanter reached Adam Silver, they spoke for half an hour. Silver told him that he was free to say whatever he wanted with his shoes; nonetheless, at the end of the conversation, according to Kanter, Silver remarked, “Everyone knows it’s business.” Kanter took this to mean: You’re free to talk about China, but you, your team, and the NBA might face consequences.
Friends around the league advised him to enjoy the season because it was going to be his last. Freedom claims that he hasn’t been shunned by teammates, that he gets quiet support. Once, he told me, as he was getting ready to shoot a free throw, a Lakers player murmured: “Listen, man, what you’re doing is so brave, keep speaking up—but I can’t talk about it. These teams got us.”
But some players asked him to unfollow them on social media, and not one has spoken out on his behalf. “Maybe they don’t know enough about it,” he told me. “But I feel like the fear of losing money, the fear of losing business, the fear of losing endorsement deals …” He didn’t complete the obvious thought. “And also, sometimes they do not care enough about what’s going on outside America.”
Yao Ming recently invited Boston Celtics big man Enes Kanter Freedom to China in an attempt to change the latter’s tune about the Asian powerhouse. Freedom, who has been a vocal critic of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, did not waste much time responding to the former Houston Rockets center’s offer. Enes Kanter: Just yesterday, I saw on the news that former NBA player Yao Ming invited me to China. I want to be very clear. I have nothing against Chinese people. My problem is with the cultish Chinese Communist Party and the brutal dictator, Xi Jinping. Well, I wanna say thank you for your kind offer. And yes, I accept your invite. I will like to come to China this summer and see everything with my own eyes. But on this trip, will we be able to visit the Uyghur slave labor camps? Or visit the innocent women being tortured, raped, and abused?
Enes Kanter Freedom: When @NBA says we stand for justice, don’t forget there are those who sell their soul for money & business like @chamath the owner of @warriors , who says “Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs” When genocides happen, it is people like this that let it happen Shame!
Enes Kanter Freedom: Shame on @elonmusk for supporting the Genocide Shortly after the U.S passes the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act-aimed at stopping slave labor Elon Musk turns a blind eye to the Cultish Chinese Communist Party’s abuses & has opened a @tesla showroom in #Xinjiang What a parasite
“He said, ‘I have so much things that I want to say, but I cannot because these teams got us,’” Kanter Freedom said. “If you want another contract, if you want more endorsement deals, if you want other companies to work with you, you have to keep your mouth shut. You cannot criticize the league, the companies, Nike, or whoever – the players or superstars.”
Outspoken NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom, who has frequently criticized LeBron James for refusing to speak out against the human rights violations in China, claims a teammate of the Lakers superstar encouraged him to keep it up. “One of the teammates that LeBron had came up to me and said, ‘Dude, keep doing what you’re doing. What you’re doing is right. Don’t give up,’” Kanter Freedom said on “The Will Cain Podcast” on Fox News Radio. “I was very shocked. I thought he was gonna be like, ‘Dude stop talking,’” Kanter Freedom added. “He’s going to try to defend LeBron, right? He’s like, ‘Dude, do not stop.’”
Enes Kanter Freedom: “I remember doing a basketball camp and I was signing autographs for kids. And while I was signing, one of the parents turned around and said, ‘How can you call yourself a human rights activist when your Muslim brothers and sisters are in pretty much genocide in China. And you’re still using your platform and focusing on only one region?’ And I was shocked. I turned back to that parent and said, ‘I’m going to get back to you. I promise.’ And I started to learn about China using their power to abuse many countries around — like Tibetan, even Mongolians, Taiwanese people, Hong Kongers and stuff.
Enes Kanter Freedom: “Whenever I talk about it was never about Black or white athletes, or red or purple athletes. It was never about a color. I even had a conversation with many of my teammates, and a thing people don’t understand is that many of the Black athletes in the league are telling me to call out these people and [those] people. Not many people know that. They are the ones telling me to call out the hypocrisies of LeBron James, the hypocrisies of Michael Jordan, but they are the ones actually sending me talking points about you can’t say this, you can’t say that. I remember having one conversation with one of them, and he’s like, ‘Listen, these teams got us. We cannot talk, but you’re talking and you’re already out there, so you might as well just say this and say that.’ I don’t follow them blindly. I actually do research and if I believe it, I’ll go out there and say it. So, not many people know about it, but many Black athletes in the league are the ones reaching out to me saying you should talk about this and that.”
“Before the game at Madison Square Garden, two gentlemen from the NBA begged me to take the shoes off,” said Kanter. “I was confused. I was getting ready for my citizenship test and I knew that the First Amendment is freedom of speech. Them telling me to take my shoes off went against my First Amendment rights. I said I would not take them off. I didn’t care if I got banned or fined. During halftime I received a text message from my manager: All the Celtics games were suddenly banned in China. It took one half of a Celtics game, with me wearing these shoes, on the bench, for the games to get banned.”
“They asked me if I would wear those shoes again and I promised not to — but I wore ‘Free Uyghur,’” he said, referring to the minority Muslim ethnic group that has reportedly suffered human rights abuses in China. “The National Basketball Players Association called me and harassed me. I told them to stop calling and texting me.”
NBA spokesman Mike Bass told The Post, “At no point has any NBA league official approached Enes and asked him not to wear his choice of shoes.”
“Two years ago, I tweeted that Hong Kong should be free.” Then “Le Bron said he is not educated enough about the situation [to comment on it] and that what I tweeted hurt the league. It’s sad that these players are social justice warriors, but, when it comes to China, they are scared to say anything. [Professional wrestler] John Cena and other celebrities, they are so worried about the business side of it. I tell people to stand up for what’s right. Your values are more important than any money you can ever make from China.”
Coach Pop further elaborated on why the actions of those like Enes Kanter are of utmost importance. “We live in a world now where people are just willing to make stuff up and lie, promote cоnspiracy theоries, all these sorts of things – and a lot of people are buying it,” Popovich continued. “So pointing things out, calling it out when you need to is, important.”
Kanter told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview that despite speaking out on issues such as Black Lives Matter, the NBA has stayed silent on China — highlighting its struggle in balancing player activism with the lucrative Chinese market. “NBA made me do this,” Kanter said. “Because every time when one of the NBA teams or the commissioner comes out to speak, they say we are encouraging players to talk about whatever they want to talk about. “We are giving freedom to our players to talk about all the injustices happening around the world, all the human rights abuses around the world. So, they gave me this right.”
Kanter says he sat down privately with NBA officials and commissioner Adam Silver, who says Silver has backed Kanter’s right to freedom of speech. The Celtics center says he has no intention of breaking NBA rules but is concerned as to why the NBA has yet to release a public statement on the issue. “If they were really supporting me, they would have put something out there. They would have put out some kind of statement,” he said. “People think I do politics, I don’t do politics. I do human rights.”
Enes Kanter: The genocidal Chinese government and the insecure tyrant behind it all XI JINPING must not be allowed to host the upcoming Winter Olympics. Say NO to @Beijing2022 !! #FreedomShoes #NoBeijing2022
Andrew Bogut: I support someone speaking out that can lose ALOT. Regardless of if I agree or disagree. Waiting for other players/coaches/gms to make comments in support of Enes and #Equality
Darren Heitner: Enes Kanter with some harsh words for $NKE and it’s consumers. “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.”
Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter continued his assault on China with his fourth pair of shoes designed by Shanghai-born, Australia-based dissident cartoonist Badiucao. During his team’s game against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night in North Carolina, he wore a pair of white trainers adorned with the words “modern day slaves”, and once again posted an accompanying video message on his social media accounts.
“My conversation with Enes was real short and sweet, and that is we’re always going to support any of our players and their right to freedom of speech and expression. And I think in my experience with the Celtics and the NBA, that’s the way it’s been and that’s the way it’ll continue to be,” Stevens told The Boston Globe.
Enes Kanter: 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! #FreeUyghurs
The Boston Celtics and NBA China were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC. On Chinese Twitter-like service Weibo, one Boston Celtics fan account with 615,000 followers said they would no longer post about the team.
The Boston Celtics are facing blowback in China after center Enes Kanter posted a video voicing his support for Tibetan independence. The reaction was swift. Chinese video-streaming giant Tencent cut the live broadcast of Wednesday’s NBA game between the Celtics and the New York Knicks. On Thursday, Chinese social media was filled with a flood of angry fans calling for a boycott.
Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter slammed Chinese President Xi Jinping on social media before wearing shoes emblazoned with the slogan “Free Tibet” during his team’s NBA game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night. The shoes were made by Shanghai-born, Australia-based dissident cartoonist Badiucao, who had a show in Hong Kong cancelled in 2018, and were worn by Kanter while he was on the bench during the season-opening game in New York.
“My message to the Chinese government is free Tibet,” he said in a video posted on his various social media accounts. “Tibet belongs to Tibetans, I am here to add my voice and speak out against what is happening in Tibet under the Chinese government’s brutal rule.” Kanter called Xi a “brutal dictator” in the video’s accompanying caption and criticised the Chinese government’s actions in Tibet before saying he could no longer “stay silent” on the issue.
Storyline Hype Rumor visits per day for the last week
Views per day
May 19, 2022 | 6:51 pm EDT Update
Chris Haynes: Boston Celtics center Al Horford tested negative yesterday and twice today, clearing him to play in Game 2 tonight against Miami Heat, league sources tell @YahooSports, @NBAonTNT.
Indiana star Trayce Jackson-Davis tested positive for COVID-19 and did not attend the NBA Draft Combine this week in Chicago, a source confirmed to IndyStar. The 6-9 forward was not able to participate in any of the athletic testing Wednesday at Wintrust Arena, nor will he join in the scrimmages scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
The home has been on and off the market since July of 2020, when it was first listed for $8.5 million, with the closing price coming much closer to the January of 2022 asking price of $7.9 million. In any case, the sale represents a profit from the $6.5 million Thompson paid in 2019.