It was a well-known fact that the National Basketball Association pressured Enes Kanter Freedom to stop upsetting China, but now we have the specifics. The Boston Celtics center told Megyn Kelly on Sirius XM that two representatives of the NBA told him to stop wearing shoes with the message “Free Tibet.” When he refused, there were repercussions.
In fact, Boston kept Kanter Freedom on the bench during the team’s entire next game after the NBA lackeys came calling. For the season, he’s played just 11.9 minutes per game, the lowest figure in his long pro career and just over half his career average of 21.8. He’s been a decent player for years, and it does not seem like a coincidence that, as he wages his campaign against China, Boston is cutting his playing time.
Here’s Kanter Freedom's explanation to Kelly on what happened when the two NBA men came to call.
There [were] two gentlemen came from the NBA [who] said, ‘Take those shoes off.’ I’m like, ‘Excuse me?’ He said, ‘Yep, take those shoes off.’ I was like, ‘I’m not taking the shoes off.’ They’re like, ‘Listen, we are begging you to take those shoes off.’ And I asked him, ‘Am I breaking any rules?’ They said, ‘No.’ … And after that I was like, ‘Go tell your boss, I don’t care if I get banned or fined. I’m not taking the shoes off.’ You know? And that game, I played zero minutes.
The NBA practically trembles at China’s feet in order to keep the revenue flowing in. Gutsy people with a conscience, like Kanter Freedom, threaten to anger China and reduce the NBA’s bottom line. He's a heroic figure who's bad for business.
Kanter Freedom also had a meeting with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver that was unproductive. He told the commissioner he was getting a lot of blow-back about his stance on China and asked if he was breaking any league rules. Silver said no, and Freedom responded that he didn’t want any more pressure from the league about his campaign against Chinese oppression.
Now a U.S. citizen after growing up in Turkey, Kanter Freedom doubled down and said he will continue to crusade against China. Neither league officials or LeBron James, who criticized Kanter Freedom, will deter him in his effort to keep the heat on China.
Kanter Freedom fully appreciates the Constitution, especially the First Amendment. He says it’s important for people to speak their mind because it can bring change. Not just here in the U.S., but internationally as well.
“The First Amendment is the greatest amendment, freedom of speech. And obviously, you know, I mean, people should be very blessed because, just because of tweets, or just because of this, the speeches that you talk, you're not going to be put in jails,” Kanter Freedom told Kelly.
Kelly said Kanter Freedom is “taking on anyone he believes is too silent when it comes to China’s human rights abuses.”
The vocal guy on Boston's bench will keep his shoes on, his mouth open and his social media going. Much to the fear and chagrin of the NBA’s social justice frauds. He will not take his foot off the gas pedal regarding China and its atrocities any time soon. In a league that is largely silent as a mouse on this issue, his courageous voice will stand out.