“Sometimes taking a stand is more important than your next paycheck.” The man who said that has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. He was also booted out of the National Basketball Association for calling out China’s human rights abuses. Enes Kanter Freedom is the one pro basketball player who stood up to China for its brutal oppression and to the NBA for putting Chinese profits over principle.
Freedom (seen above in file photo) had been calling out China all season long, as a member of the Boston Celtics – in every way possible. Through interviews, social media and the designer shoes he wore telling China to grant freedom to Tibet and others suffering under its iron hand. Boston fans loved Freedom, but the Celts recently traded him to Houston and that team quickly released him. People advocating for China to grant freedom are too much for the spineless NBA to bear, and they’ve got to go.
Freedom’s courage under fire (the NBA pressured him to keep silent about China) has reportedly been chosen a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. Some 30 Nobel laureates and a member of the Norwegian Parliament recommended him for the prize. The Nobel laureates said Freedom is standing “on the right side of history.”
The man who endured the headwinds of criticism from China’s NBA lackeys Tweeted, “I’m honored and humbled to receive the nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Sometimes taking a stand is more important than your next paycheck.” How true!
The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee applauded Freedom as well:
“Glad to see @EnesFreedom, again & applaud his advocacy for human rights in Turkey, Xingjiang & worldwide. Enes’ sacrifices inspire our efforts as we work to confront injustice, combat democratic backsliding, & free those wrongfully jailed in Turkey & elsewhere.”
Talk is cheap and so is the NBA’s so-called concern for social justice. It’s reserved for criminals who confront public safety officers, people like Jacob Blake, the Kenosha, Wis., man who refused police orders to stand down in 2020.
Then the NBA machine ground to a complete halt. It and other sports leagues canceled games and displayed Black Lives Matter slogans all over the place. Marxist-generated “injustice” was elevated over sports. LeBron James was then more than an athlete, but not now when it comes to China.
Social justice concerns evaporate when China pours millions of dollars into the NBA’s coffers. Slavery and totalitarianism over there prompt the NBA to go deaf and blind. Kanter Freedom’s activism becomes too much to bear and he is shown the door.
Freedom saw the handwriting on the wall and knew his activism would not be tolerated indefinitely. On the PBS “Firing Line with Margaret Hoover” program just a day before Boston sent him packing, he said, “They’re going to do everything they can to, I believe, not sign me now.”
Freedom’s remarkably short time in Houston was for the sole purpose of the Rockets to process him out of pro basketball. In the end, China ensured NBA compliance by ousting a rebel. And NBA Commissioner Adam Silver isn’t sweating about losing China revenue.
Wasting no time as a private citizen, Freedom visited the U.S. Capitol last week to meet with Senate Republicans in closed-door meetings about China’s abuses and its relationship with the NBA.
Utah’s U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, chairman of the Senate Republican Steering Committee, wants the NBA to explain why Freedom was traded by the Boston Celtics and then released by the Houston Rockets. “I would love an explanation from the NBA, I really would,” he told the Hill. “I think a lot of people would very much like an explanation from them. He has taken a noble stand against genocide in China. Proud he’s an American and taking a stand for freedom!”
GOP senators gave Freedom two standing ovations and applauded his advocacy for human rights and criticism of China's government as "very inspiring" and "amazing." He told them that NBA players and non-players risk blacklisting for speaking out against China.
For displaying such courage, Freedom is truly standing tall.