December 7, 2021
After watching the National Basketball Association do everything in its power to avoid offending the Chinese communist government, the American Mideast Coalition for Democracy was more than pleased to see one lone player bucking the trend toward servitude. Enes Kantor Freedom displays an unabashed love for America (even changing his last name to Freedom) and is displaying great courage in openly criticizing the Chinese Communist Party over its treatment of the Uyghur minority and its totalitarian suppression of dissent. He has also been subject to retaliation by Turkish President Erdogan for his open criticism of him.
“Kanter Freedom is a breath of fresh air—someone who is unafraid to stand for moral decency over and above the lucrative contracts the NBA holds in China,” said AMCD Co-chair John Hajjar. “The NBA as an organization and most of its players constantly bow to China and engage in self-censorship in order to preserve their financial relationship.”
Back in October, Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey deleted a tweet supporting Hong Kong protesters after Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent canceled digital streaming of Rockets games. Morey, along with the NBA, issued groveling public apologies.
“With the big sponsors like Nike manufacturing in China, most athletes are afraid to criticize the CCP,” added AMCD Co-chair Tom Harb. “And China is not above pressuring companies to tow the Communist Party line. The irony is these players are free to criticize the US and take a knee during the national anthem while playing abroad. I’m glad to see Enes Kanter Freedom bucking the trend.”
The Turkish government has also threatened Kanter Freedom with arrest due to his relentless criticism of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is taking the country toward ever harsher Islamist totalitarianism. The Turkish government issued a warrant for Kanter Freedom’s arrest and his family still living there has been threatened. As a result, Kanter Freedom cannot travel abroad with his team due to fear of arrest and extradition to Turkey where he has been accused of “terrorism.”
“Bravo to Enes Kanter Freedom for standing for his God-given liberty in the face of such serious threats,” said AMCD Co-chair Hossein Khorram. “He’s risking everything to speak the truth and we applaud his courage and moral steadfastness.”
AMCD stands with Enes Kanter Freedom!