Enes Kanter Freedom is willing to “help” and “educate” Lakers star LeBron James on China’s human rights issues despite the four-time MVP claiming Freedom is not someone he would “give his energy to.”
It’s time to stand up: Speaking to reporters after the Celtics’ practice on Tuesday, Freedom, who has recently become an American citizen, said he had assumed the discussion would be uncomfortable for the “Space Jam 2” actor, according to ESPN.
- The outspoken NBA player said, however, he is willing to make the sit-down comfortable for James.
- “I don’t know if he’s educated enough, but I’m here to educate him and I’m here to help him, because it’s not about money,” Freedom said. “It’s about morals, principles and values. It’s about what you stand for. I feel like it’s definitely time for athletes to stand up for the things they believe in… not just in America… but all over the world.”
- Freedom called out James in a tweet on Nov. 18, in which he accused the “king” of choosing money over morals. James first signed an endorsement deal with Nike in 2003, followed by a “lifetime” contract with the American corporation in 2016, Akron Beacon Journal reported.
- James responded to Freedom’s accusation at a press conference after the Lakers-Celtics game on Nov. 19, in which Freedom said the center did not approach him directly when they both saw each other in the hallway.
- Freedom responded to James’ statement on Tuesday: “I was actually on the court, and after I left the court, he was behind me …Then I stopped to take a picture with a kid, and he was the one who walked right past me.”
“Biggest hypocrite company”: The Celtics player has been a vocal critic of Nike and its founder, Phil Knight, for its alleged ties with a factory in China that reportedly employed forced Uyghur laborers.
- Freedom also reiterated his stance against Nike, which he described as the “biggest hypocrite company out there” for supporting several movements — including the Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate — but always turning a blind eye when China is concerned.
- “I feel like we need to be careful of what we are wearing, because every time you put those items on your feet or back, there’s so much blood or sweat or oppression on those items,” he added.
- He also revealed that Black NBA athletes encouraged him to speak out against the big names in the league, including retired legend Michael Jordan, who he again accused of keeping silent on human rights issues.
Tucker Carlson appearance: Freedom also addressed his controversial appearance on Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Show” on Tuesday, after which he was criticized for his comments on Americans, according to The Celtics Wire.
Enes Kanter Freedom to Tucker Carlson on Americans criticizing America: “I feel like they should just keep their mouth shut and stop criticizing the greatest nation in the world and they should focus on their freedoms and their human rights and democracy.” pic.twitter.com/5nLAWYlkDg
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) November 30, 2021
- “I feel like they should just keep their mouth shut and stop criticizing the greatest nation in the world, and they should focus on their freedoms and their human rights and democracy,” Freedom said on the show.
- Many activists and social media users took to Twitter to call out Freedom.
Kenter is an uneducated cult member (the Gülen Cult). He has no appreciation of universal principles. If he ended up in China and his assylum was accepted, he would praise China.
If there is one thing great about the USA, that we don’t shut our mouths. We don’t worship the gov.
— Edip Yüksel (@edipyuksel) November 30, 2021
This literally contradicts what he believes in regards to Turkey. Maybe he’s getting too much of the conservative spotlight.
— Matthew Carlson (@mattcarlson53) November 30, 2021
- In response to the criticism, Freedom, who described himself as apolitical, explained he only involved himself with politicians, because he was “trying to help people.”
- “Obviously, we are having our problems here, but people for sure should definitely feel blessed to be in this situation.”