Videos by OutKick
On Wednesday afternoon, Celtics big man Enes Kanter tweeted a video directed at Chinese politician Xi Jinping and the Chinese government, calling for the dictatorship to free Tibet. In the nearly three-minute video, Kanter bashed the Chinese government, referring to them as ruling in a “brutal” way and depriving the people of Tibet of their basic rights and freedoms.
Predictably, last night’s broadcast of the Celtics-Knicks game was banished from the NBA’s official Chinese broadcast partner, Tencent.
Remember how the CCP retaliated against @dmorey’s tweet about Hong Kong?
How bad do you think this blowout will be? https://t.co/l1zJ7kPFyl
— Melissa Chen (@MsMelChen) October 21, 2021
This news shouldn’t surprise even a novice NBA fan. Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA have continued to look the other way when it comes to China. Rather than stand against slave labor, dictatorships and the overall mistreatment of the Chinese people, the NBA has opted instead to keep quiet and cash checks.
Last spring, Silver admitted as much in an interview with TIME: “Our most significant television partner is Tencent, which is a streaming service in China. And we have hundreds of millions of fans in China who we continue to serve.”
During that same interview, Silver pushed back against criticisms of the Chinese government, opting instead to hide behind what he called “global change.”
“A so-called boycott of China, taking into account legitimate criticisms of the Chinese system, won’t further the agenda of those who seek to bring about global change. Working with Chinese solely on NBA basketball has been a net plus for building relationships between two superpowers,” added Silver.
Kanter, showing more stones than Silver or the NBA, closed his video by saying, “Brutal dictator of China, Xi Jinping, I have a message for you and your henchman. I will say again, again, and again, loud and clear — I hope you hear me: free Tibet, free Tibet, free Tibet.”
China definitely heard him, but did the NBA?
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF