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Exclusive: NBA China critic Enes Kanter Freedom launches civil rights foundation

Enes Kanter Freedom, the NBA’s resident critic for China, said he would soon launch a foundation that will fight for civil rights in countries like China and Turkey.

The 11-year-old journeyman center says the Enes Kanter Freedom Foundation will keep him busy now that he’s given up on playing in the NBA again. He is set to launch the nonprofit on Thursday at a press conference on Capitol Hill, where he received vocal support from conservatives.

“A lot of people like to ask me if I’m a Republican or a Democrat, but I don’t want to take sides,” Freedom, 30, told The Washington Times. “I am for truth and justice. I must stand up for what is right even if it means sacrificing everything I have.

He confirmed that no team had approached him since the Houston Rockets opted out of his contract after acquiring him from the Boston Celtics in February.

His frequent and outspoken criticism of the league’s close business ties to China and the communist regime’s human rights abuses won him praise from conservatives, as well as appearances on Fox News and a speech at the Conference of conservative political action.

“I believe the NBA is the most hypocritical organization in America and I believe I am being blackballed. If I was only talking about Turkey and not China, I would be playing in the league right now,” a- he said in an exclusive interview.

An NBA spokesperson issued a statement to The Washington Times.

“We have always supported and will continue to support members of the NBA family, including Enes Freedom, speaking out on social and political issues,” the spokesperson said in an email. “We believe broadcasting games to fans in China and more than 200 other countries and territories is in line with our mission to inspire and connect people around the world through the power of basketball.” Freedom scoffed at the statement.

“All of these landlords claim they care about social justice. But all they care about is money and business,” he said.

His playing sneakers displaying political messages and his viral Twitter videos calling Chinese President Xi Jinping a ‘heartless dictator’ for his treatment of Uyghur Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists led Chinese television to ban all Celtics games in October .

While a Chinese official said the big man’s claims were “not worth refuting”, Mr Freedom slammed NBA and league star LeBron James in interviews throughout the season. season for taking advantage of Chinese forced labor in sneaker endorsements.

Mr Freedom says he thinks the Celtics game outage cost the league “millions of dollars”.

“Unfortunately nobody talks about China because everyone is afraid of the power they have. Everyone is afraid of the business they might lose, the sales of shoes, and not a single Muslim country says that China hurts,” he said on Wednesday.

He will share his criticisms of communist China at next week’s closing banquet of the International Religious Freedom Summit, a gathering of more than 40 advocacy groups in Washington.

Born in Switzerland to Turkish parents, Mr. Freedom lost his Turkish nationality, where his father was previously imprisoned for speaking out against the government. He added “Freedom” to his name after becoming a US citizen in November.


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Post expires at 8:59pm on Sunday July 3rd, 2022