Enes Kanter: Boston Celtics game broadcast withdrawn in China after center’s pro-Tibet messages

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The broadcast of the Celtics’ season opener against the New York Knicks has been halted by Chinese video streaming site Tencent, while fans have taken to Chinese social media to speak out against Kanter and the Celtics.

The Tencent Sports website also reported that the Celtics’ upcoming games will not be broadcast live, but just an interactive graphic displayed instead.

On Weibo, the Chinese Twitter-like platform, a Celtics fan page with around 615,000 followers announced that it would not post team updates due to a player’s oversights on the networks. social.

“From now on, our page will no longer report any information on the Boston Celtics, and our Weibo will stop updating!” read the message from Celtics Weibo Express. “For any behavior that undermines the harmony of nations and the dignity of the homeland, we resolutely resist!

Wednesday, Kanter job a social media video to President Xi Jinping and the Chinese government with the caption “Tibet belongs to the Tibetan people” calling Xi a “brutal dictator” while wearing a t-shirt with the 14th Dalai Lama, the Buddhist spiritual leader of the Tibetan people.

The Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India since the failure of the uprising against Chinese rule in 1959 and regularly travels the world to spread his message of tolerance and peace.

CNN has contacted the NBA and Tencent for comment.

“My message to the Chinese government is free Tibet,” Kanter said. “Tibet belongs to Tibetans, I am here to add my voice and denounce what is happening in Tibet under the brutal regime of the Chinese government.”

“Under the brutal regime of the Chinese government, the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Tibetan people are non-existent.

Kanter followed him up with another post which noted: “More than 150 Tibetans have burned themselves alive !! – hoping that such an act would raise awareness in Tibet. I stand alongside my Tibetan brothers and sisters and support their calls for freedom.

Later that day, when Kanter’s Boston Celtics entered the field in their season opener against the New York Knicks, he was wearing shoes with the message “Free Tibet” on the side.

Detail of the shoes worn by Kanter with the mention
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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a press conference on Thursday that Kanter was “trying to gain attention” and that his words “were not worth refuting” .

“We will never accept these attacks to discredit the development and progress of Tibet,” he said.

Kanter’s comments come two years after Daryl Morey, then general manager of the Houston Rockets, sparked a controversy between the NBA and China with a tweet supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Morey resigned a year later.
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As a result, several Chinese companies severed ties with the Rockets and the NBA has come under heavy pressure from Chinese authorities.

Tibet is an internationally recognized autonomous region within the People’s Republic of China, although many Tibetans dispute the legitimacy of Chinese rule.

Kanter, who grew up in Turkey, has already championed various political causes, including criticism of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. As a result, he was the subject of death threats and his father’s criminal trial in the country.



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