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Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is continuing on in his one-man NBA stand against the human-rights violations in China, this time with his eyes on the International Olympic Committee.
“Shame on organizations like the International Olympic Committee that’s setting up an Olympic Games this upcoming winter in China where there’s a dictatorship happening right now,” Kanter said. “We need to boycott the Winter Olympics.”
OutKick founder Clay Travis says that Kanter’s decision to speak out — while unpopular with the NBA — is admirable.
“Enes Kanter is way braver to call out China than any pro athlete has ever been to take a stand on almost anything in the 21st century,” Clay tweeted. “Yet most sports media & their employers aren’t covering it. Why? Because they’re in China’s pocket too.”
Kanter has already taken shots at Nike and LeBron James for their relationships with China, while calling out the nation’s government as a whole. It’s a rarity in the NBA these days — as the league and some of its athletes makes a financial killing off the Chinese fanbase.
As Clay noted, so does much of the media that covers the league.
For instance, when Kanter wore shoes depicting James bowing to China during a Celtics-Los Angeles Lakers game, reporters only asked James what he made of the shoes. They never bothered with the natural follow-up question of what James actually thinks of China.
Reporters knew that would be frowned upon by James, the league they cover and likely their employers. So they avoided it entirely to spin the narrative against Kanter — and therefore, in favor of the atrocities being committed in China.
The NBA made its bed as a league that speaks out against social injustices everywhere. It plays games and holds exhibitions and camps in China. As Kanter suggested, it therefore needs to hold China to the same standard as it does cities in the United States.