Enes Kanter: Boston Celtics game broadcast pulled in China after center’s pro-Tibet posts

The published of the Celtics’ season-opening game in opposition to the New York Knicks was pulled by Chinese language video-streaming website Tencent, whereas followers took to Chinese language social media to denounce Kanter and the Celtics.

The web site for Tencent Sports activities additionally indicated that upcoming Celtics video games wouldn’t be livestreamed, moderately simply an interactive graphic proven as an alternative.

On Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, a Celtics fan web page with roughly 615,000 followers posted that it might not be posting updates from the staff due to a participant’s social media oversights.

“Any further, our web page will now not report any details about the Boston Celtics, and our Weibo will cease updating!” learn the publish from Celtics Weibo Categorical. “For any habits that undermines concord of the nations and the dignity of the motherland, we resolutely resist!”

On Wednesday, Kanter posted a video on social media directed at President Xi Jinping and the Chinese language authorities with the caption “Tibet belongs to the Tibetan individuals” calling Xi a “brutal dictator” whereas sporting a t-shirt that includes the 14th Dalai Lama, the Buddhist non secular chief of the Tibetan individuals.

The Dalai Lama has been dwelling in exile in India since a failed rebellion in opposition to Chinese language rule in 1959 and often travels the world to unfold his message of tolerance and peace.

CNN has reached out to the NBA and Tencent for remark.

“My message to the Chinese language authorities is free Tibet,” Kanter mentioned. “Tibet belongs to Tibetans, I’m right here so as to add my voice and communicate out in opposition to what is occurring in Tibet beneath the Chinese language authorities’s brutal rule.”

“Beneath the Chinese language authorities’s brutal rule, Tibetan individuals’s fundamental rights and freedoms are non-existent.”

Kanter adopted it up with one other publish which said: “Greater than 150 Tibetan individuals have burned themselves alive!! — hoping that such an act would elevate extra consciousness about Tibet. I stand with my Tibetan brothers and sisters, and I help their requires Freedom.”

Later within the day, when Kanter’s Boston Celtics took to the courtroom of their season-opening sport in opposition to the New York Knicks, he was sporting footwear with the message “Free Tibet” on the aspect.

Detail of the shoes worn by Kanter with the wording "Free Tibet" during the first half against the New York Knicks.
Chinese language Overseas Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a news briefing on Thursday that Kanter was “making an attempt to get consideration” and that his remarks “weren’t price refuting.”

“We are going to by no means settle for these assaults to discredit Tibet’s improvement and progress,” he mentioned.

Kanter’s feedback come two years after Daryl Morey, the then-general supervisor of the Houston Rockets, sparked controversy between the NBA and China with a tweet in help of pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. Morey stepped down a 12 months later.

A number of Chinese language companies lower ties with the Rockets because of this and the NBA got here beneath extreme stress from Chinese language authorities.

Tibet is an internationally acknowledged autonomous area inside the Folks’s Republic of China, although many Tibetans dispute the legitimacy of China’s rule.

Kanter, who was raised in Turkey, has been vocal before in protection of assorted political causes, together with criticisms of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He confronted demise threats and the felony trial of his father again house because of this.

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