Chinese leaders are upset over comments by the Boston Celtics Enes Kanter, as he has refused to back down over human rights criticisms, putting the NBA in an awkward position.
The NBA has a huge market in China, raking in major money the league continues to carefully guard. But Kanter’s strong words against China’s treatment of Uygher Muslims has now led to the Celtics being banned from the communist nation.
During past NBA disputes with China, players have generally relented, shut up or outright apologized. This time, Kanter has stood firm.
On Monday, Kanter called out Nike, telling the sports apparel maker to stop modern day slavery now. Nike reportedly uses forced labor workers at its factories in China.
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) October 25, 2021
In another post, Kanter takes a swipe at Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
XI JINPING and the Chinese Communist Party
Someone has to teach you a lesson,
I will NEVER apologize for speaking the truth.
You can NOT buy me.
You can NOT scare me.
You can NOT silence me.
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) October 24, 2021
The controversial is unlikely to settle down soon, meaning the NBA will either have to live with the consequences or Kanter is about to experience some major pushback from the league over his actions.