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Enes Kanter has put the NBA and all of their elite cohorts on the spot this season. The Boston Celtics center has been open with his opposition to China’s human rights violations: a message that has become more ‘elephant in the room’ than a lauded sense of social activism seen from supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement.
While the Association remains mum on supporting a vocal and frustrated Kanter, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich now chooses to stand up with the Celtics center.
Pop commended the 29-year-old for standing firm in his messaging — knowing the outside buzz has led to scrutiny of Kanter’s image, along with potentially affecting his time on the court.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 22: Enes Kanter #13 of the Boston Celtics looks on before during the Celtics home opener against the Toronto Raptors at TD Garden on October 22, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts.
(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
“I am glad that Enes speaks up when he feels like it. I think it’s great. No reason not to,” Popovich commented, looking at the spree of online campaigning from Kanter to gather support against the CCP’s mistreatment of Uyghurs and other groups.
While Popovich refused to directly mention China in his response to the vehemently anti-CCP activism, he was incapable of turning a complete blind eye to the injustices occurring overseas, highlighted by Kanter.
Kanter’s latest target on the hunt for hypocrisy was Brooklyn Nets team governor Joe Tsai.
Boston Celtics’ Enes Kanter (13) moves against Toronto Raptors’ Isaac Bonga during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, in Boston.
“The owner of @brooklynNets @joetsai1999 is a coward & puppet of the Chinese gov’t,” Kanter announced via Twitter leading up to the Celtics’ matchup against the Nets on Wed (Nov 24). “Being anti-CCP does NOT mean being anti-Asian. It’s possible to #StopAsianHate & to stand up against the CCP.”
With the NBA positioning itself as a benefactor to the deep pockets of the CCP — looking at nearly $500 million in annual revenue received from the international market — Kanter can’t help but address the lack of double standard applied by the Association and its most prominent stars in bringing attention to social injustices in America without calling out China.
Kanter has offered figures like Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James and retired great Michael Jordan to join him on a trip to China and understand his message’s importance — foremost, a statement meant to liberate any class of people subject to China’s tyranny from their ethical standards.
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, right, talks with Spurs guard Dejounte Murray during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
((AP Photo/Darren Abate))
Enes continues to question those corporate figures and media folks turning a blind eye to a Chinese government that signs checks while overseeing slavish operations and other attacks on liberty.
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