NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom urges Beijing Olympics boycott

Boston Celtics center calls for fellow athetes to choose ‘morals over money’

FILE PHOTO: Sep 27, 2021 - Canton, MA, USA; Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter (13) during Celtics Media Day in Canton MA. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports/via REUTERS  MANDATORY CREDIT/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Sep 27, 2021 - Canton, MA, USA; Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter (13) during Celtics Media Day in Canton MA. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports/via REUTERS MANDATORY CREDIT/File Photo

Enes Kanter Freedom does not mince words on his Twitter account:

“The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is in bed with the Chinese Government. They are complicit and echo the Cultish Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda.” #NoBeijing2022

In an interview with Dan Roan on the BBC, Enes Kanter Freedom continued his call for world wide action regarding China’s Tibet policy and the incarceration of the Muslim Uyghur minorities in Northwest China.

“It is important that athletes use their platform to be the voice for all the innocent people all over the world who don’t have a voice,” he said. “While we are talking right now there is a genocide happening.”

“There are so many athletes, actors, singers and rappers, or people who have platforms, scared to say a word because obviously there’s so much business involved, so much money involved, and sometimes obviously China is paying the bills so they are scared to say a word.”

Oct 30, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; A view of the shoes of Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter during warmups prior to the Celtics' game against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; A view of the shoes of Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter during warmups prior to the Celtics' game against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Kanter Freedom has taken to the courts of the NBA to make his cause known. He frequently uses his shoes as a billboard with the slogan ‘Free Tibet’ written on the sides. As a result, Boston Celtics games have been blacked out throughout China along with Kanter’s name being erased from any Chinese publications and online platform Weibo.

He continues to closely follow the Peng Shuai story, the tennis star who this past November accused Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual misconduct.

“I have sat down with many other athletes and had a conversation with them. The first topic I always tell them is look what they did to their own tennis player Peng Shuai. Are we really going to trust them with our own players?”

With three weeks until the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Winter Games, Kanter Freedom continues to double down on the issue, extending his ire directly at the IOC.

“They are part of the problem because China doesn’t respect human rights, friendship or freedom of expression,” he said. “Shame on the IOC, for organizing (the) Olympic Games in a country like China.”

Regarding the IOC, this week U.S. lawmakers sent a letter to IOC President Thomas Bach voicing concern “there is a worrisome possibility that IOC personnel or others attending the 2022 Olympic Games will be wearing clothing contaminated by forced labor.”

However the Turkish-American NBA star remains optimistic despite the various bleak circumstances.

“I’m still hopeful because when I talk to these Olympic athletes I was like, all the gold medals in the world that you can win is not more important than your morals, your principles and your values, so I feel like we need to stand up for the right thing.”