Enes Kanter is walking the walk when it comes to true human rights activism — uncharacteristic of modern athletes’ claim to combating human rights violators, while pandering to deep pockets in China.
Kanter has been vehement in promoting liberation for Uyghurs and Tibetan people under China’s maltreatment. This time, he’s standing up for Taiwan’s sovereignty — seen in a 1:45-minute video with a “Taiwan is not China” shirt, supporting the country’s independence, contrary to the Chinese Communist Party and president Xi Jinping’s rhetoric.
“What the Chinese government is doing to Taiwan is even more proof that Xi Jinping and the Chinese regime are a threat to freedoms everywhere,” Kanter said. “We see what they are doing to Tibetans, to Uyghurs, Hong Kongers. Taiwan is now at the frontlines against China’s dictatorship.”
“Taiwan is a democratic and free country, and I stand with Taiwan,” Kanter added. “Did you know that even though Taiwan has their own history, their own government, their own land, their own elections, their own everything, Xi Jinping is stuck in his own world.”
Kanter’s message has been cogent, but the media and NBA still choose to sit in silence rather than standing with the Turkish player.
“My message to all freedom supporters watching this today is we are stronger together. We must all stand with Taiwan, support Taiwan, and defend democracy. We must keep Taiwan free and safe. Taiwan is already independent and I believe and hope the country will be free and democratic forever. The future of Taiwan must be determined by the Taiwanese people. …
“[Jinping] claims Taiwan is a part of China and consistently threatens to invade Taiwan. The country’s 24 million Taiwanese people just want to live peacefully and freely. They cherish freedom, human rights, and democracy. Taiwan is a force for good.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been a focus of Kanter’s messaging: pressing Silver to join his call for human rights to improve in China.
Last year, the NBA made $200 million of its annual revenue direct from China — a hint at Silver’s hesitancy. Gains from Chinese viewership have gone as high as $500 million annually.
The Celtics player has been largely absent throughout the 2021-2022 season. Kanter is averaging five minutes per game, compared to a career-average 22 minutes, as he tests the NBA’s brass into taking a side between the players or the paychecks.
Kanter has also invited Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James to join him on a trip to China, challenging the superstar’s allegiance to his CCP benefactors.
Regarding Taiwan and their relation to the United States, the Chinese government stated back in August that if they were to attempt to seize Taiwan, the U.S. would have little chance of stopping them based on President Biden’s performance in Kabul.
Taiwan first became a country on January 1, 1912.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela