NBA Star Enes Kanter Speaks Out Against China


Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA today sports

Rene Almanza, OwlFeed Sports Reporter

With the NBA season underway, you always expect the unexpected to happen. Before the season even started, there were headlines regarding the ethics of the outspoken.

One such headline involved a statement made by NBA player Enes Kaner, a 10-year veteran on the Boston Celtics who is from Turkey. Kanter promoted Pro-Tibetian posts on Instagram for his consideration of their people’s well-being.

The country of Tibet has been under indirect control of the People’s Republic of China, which has committed crimes against the native population throughout the decades.

In Kanter’s statement, he mentioned that President Xi Jinping is a “brutal dictator” for his jurisdiction over Tibet. In response, the Chinese government blacklisted any and all games that included the Celtics.

China is a sustainable world power in this current year, meaning that the nation is able to influence its own states to adhere to the ideals of the regime. States like Tibet are forced to accept it no matter what.

Tibetan citizens still want a say in this. They realize their human rights are being violated, which led China to monitor them without their permission causing a multitude of Tibetans to be sent to jail for being outspoken.

NBA player Enes Kaner expressed his thoughts on the situation in contempt towards China and its President Xi Jinping.

He called out the Chinese Communist Party for their actions towards ethnic groups either by putting them in prison camps or the multiple abuses they have enacted upon them.

On a social media post Enes Kanter said,”I’m here to add my voice and speak out about what is happening in Tibet. Under the Chinese government’s brutal rule, the Tibetan people’s basic rights and freedoms are non-existent.” 

Enes Kanter has always been outspoken towards situations like these, as he is a native from Turkey. He has criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdogon and the Turkish government responded by banishing him from ever entering the country again, which simultaneously caused him to receive threats due to being vocal on these issues.

This wouldn’t be the first time that the NBA would face backlash when criticizing China. In 2019, Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey posted a Pro-Hong Kong message on social media.

This would cause China to boycott all NBA games for that season which cost the NBA $150 to $200 million dollars in future revenue.

As of late October, Enes Kanter has been explicit on his stance, leaving no room for interpretation.

He called out Nike’s co-owner Phil Knight over his use of forced child labor in China. In one game against the Charlotte Hornets Enes Kanter wore shoes stating “Modern Day Slaves.”

With the amount of athletes taking a stand for what they believe regarding the moral treatment of individuals, it is important because of the amount of influence they hold on and off the court.