Enes Kanter of the Boston Celtics lambasted professional sports leagues and other high-profile personalities for refusing to speak out about the atrocities inside communist China, saying they are “scared” and only care about money.
The comments made by the National Basketball Association (NBA) star come following the brief disappearance of Chinese Tennis star Peng Shuai.
According to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), a video chat between the IOC chief and the player was to establish her whereabouts after a sexual complaint against a former Chinese official.
“Someone has to do it,” Kanter said of the professional sports world’s silence on Chinese human rights abuses and other claims against the Communist leadership there.
He continued, “There are so many athletes, so many actors, so many singers and rappers out there. They’re scared to say a word because they care too much about their money—the endorsement deals, what the teams they play for say.”
He further said, “They should know one thing: It should be morals and principles over money. It shouldn’t be the opposite way. People’s life depends on this,” Kanter added, noting that young people around the world look up to athletes in all sports – and therefore, the players should be careful about how they conduct themselves.”
Recently, Enes Kanter Nike tweeted attacking LA Lakers star LeBron James over China’s human rights violations. Kanter, in his tweet, wrote, ‘Money over Morals for the “King,” referring to LeBron James’s nickname. He wrote, “Sad & disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice. They do “shut up & dribble” when Big Boss [Chinese flag emoji] says so. Did you educate yourself about the slave labor that made your shoes, or is that not part of your research?”
Kanter also spoke out against China’s slaughter of religious minorities in Xinjiang and other authoritarian practices, saying that the communist nation does not represent the Olympic’s core values, reported Daily Wire.
“They are a brutal dictatorship and they engage in censorship, they threaten the freedoms, and they don’t respect human rights, and they hide the truth,” he said. “There are millions of people in concentration camps … they’re getting tortured, and they’re getting gang-raped every day.”
Kanter said that “organizations like NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, MLB” should note how the Women’s Tennis Association is standing up to China because “people’s lives … is way more important than the business side of it.”
“So, I feel like we should definitely hold th[ese] organizations accountable, especially when they call themselves a social justice organization,” he added. “But when, if it affects their money, if it affects their pocket and their business, they are telling us to stay remain silent, but I feel like we have a huge platform and we need to use this platform.”
Nike, the NBA’s official apparel provider, is one of several western firms that have come under fire from Beijing after raising concerns over accusations of forced labor in cotton production in Xinjiang, China’s northwest province. Nike stated in a statement that it does not handle cotton sourcing in the county “directly.”
The statement read, ‘While Nike does not directly source cotton or other raw materials, traceability at the raw materials level is an area of ongoing focus. “We are working closely with our suppliers, industry associations, brands, and other stakeholders to pilot traceability approaches and map material sources so we can have confidence the materials in our products are responsibly produced,” the statement further added, reported Republic world.