Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter Freedom said he would “love to sit down and talk” to Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James and “educate” him on human rights abuses in China, something he has previously criticized James for not speaking out for.
“I’m sure it’s going to be a very uncomfortable conversation for him. I don’t know if he’s gonna want that. I’ll make that really comfortable for him,” Freedom told reporters on Nov. 30, according to ESPN.
“I don’t know if he’s educated enough, but I’m here to educate him and I’m here to help him because it’s not about money. It’s about morals, principles, and values. It’s about what you stand for. There are way bigger things than money,” he added.
Freedom, a native of Turkey, became a U.S. citizen on Nov. 29 and legally changed his last name from Kanter to Freedom. He was banned from traveling to his home country by the administration of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan due to his political views, and Turkey revoked his passport in 2017.
In recent months, Freedom has been vocal about human rights issues in China and criticized the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) treatment of the Uyghurs and Tibetans while also slamming Beijing for its industry-scale killing of prisoners of conscience for their organs.
The Chinese Government engages in forced organ harvesting.
Ethnic & religious groups,
Tibetans,Uyghurs in death camps, Christians,Falun Gong are all targeted
Stop murdering for organs.
It’s a crime against humanity
End forced organ harvesting in China,
— Enes Kanter FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) November 16, 2021
Freedom called China’s leader Xi Jinping a “brutal dictator,” leading to Celtics games being pulled from Chinese media.
He has also voiced his support for Taiwan, prompting Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to thank him directly via Twitter on Nov. 13.
On Nov. 19, he called out James in a tweet over his ties with Nike, slamming him for taking a “Money Over Morals” approach on Nike’s alleged use of slave labor in China to produce its goods. His tweet also included photos of some sneakers emblazoned with messages targeting China, Nike, and James.
Money over Morals for the “King” 👑
Sad & disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice
They really do “shut up & dribble” when Big Boss 🇨🇳 says so
Did you educate yourself about the slave labor that made your shoes or is that not part of your research? pic.twitter.com/YUA8rGYeoZ
— Enes Kanter FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) November 18, 2021
James responded to his tweet by saying that he will not waste his energy on Freedom, accusing him of trying to use his name for himself. He also claimed that Freedom had an opportunity to approach him personally after a game in Boston, but instead walked right by him in the hallway.
When asked about the claim on Nov. 30, Freedom said that was not exactly how it went down.
“I was actually on the court and after I left the court, he was behind me. Then I stopped to take a picture with a kid, and he was the one who walked right past me,” he said.
Freedom dubbed Nike “the biggest hypocrite company out there,” citing the company’s support for Black Lives Matter in America and the Latino community while failing to stand up to China.
“They stand for Black Lives Matter in America—amazing. They stand for the Latino community. No Asian hate. They stand with the LGBTQ community. But when it comes to some of the countries out there, like China, they remain silent,” he remarked.