NBA Hall of Fame legend and 9-time league All-Star Dominique Wilkins has joined forces with current professional hoops standout Enes Kanter Freedom in the latter’s ongoing quest to bring greater awareness of human rights abuses and genocide taking place in China, as Sports Illustrated reports.
Kanter Freedom, a Swiss-born, Turkish-raised center for the Boston Celtics, recently changed his name to add the last moniker in celebration of his success in becoming an American citizen, and he is no stranger to outspoken activism when it comes to China and the corporate entities – such as Nike – that he feels turn a blind eye to the atrocities occurring there.
Now, it appears that he has enlisted the aid of another civic-minded figure from the sports world, namely, Wilkins, to help him spread the word about what he feels needs to become a critical focus among anyone with an interest in furthering global human rights.
Over the weekend, Kanter Freedom posted a video to Twitter in which he expressed gratitude for Wilkins’ words in support of the Uyghur population that has been subjected to some of the worst abuses committed under the auspices of Beijing. WATCH:
“What is happening to the Uyghurs is one of the worst human rights abuses in the world today.”
We can NOT stay silent
Stop the Genocide, now! pic.twitter.com/7qFKfknJEQ
— Enes Kanter FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) December 11, 2021
During the footage included in the post, Wilkins makes his position on the subject clear, saying, “History is written in two ways: One, you can sit on the couch and watch how it’s written. Or two, you can do something about it and write history. Which side are we taking?”
Wilkins went on to state, “There is a genocide happening right now. The Chinese government is sending millions of Uyghurs to concentration camps where they are subject to torture, forced labor, rape, and sterilization. All simply because they embrace their own religion, their own culture, language, history, and identity.”
Saturday’s post was not the first time Kanter Freedom has taken a strong public stance on human rights abuses in China, posting on social media earlier this year a statement in which he declared President Xi Jinping a “brutal dictator” and called for independence in Tibet, a move which prompted official backlash from Beijing and a costly disruption of digital streaming of Celtics games in that country.
Though Kanter Freedom has long been one of the few professional athletes willing to hold China to account for its genocidal abuses, and he continues to face pressure from the powers-that-be in the NBA to tone down his criticism of one of its most lucrative markets, it appears that the Boston star does indeed have the courage of his convictions and has no plans to back down.