Enes Kanter Freedom Is Ready To Visit China, But Only If He Can See “The Real China”

On Monday, at a press conference in Beijing, former NBA player Yao Ming was asked about Freedom’s recent activity. Yao, who is now president of the state-affiliated China Basketball Association, responded, “If there is an opportunity, I would like to invite him to visit China…then he may have a more comprehensive understanding of us.”
Freedom — the Boston Celtics Center that officially changed its last name in November — has spoken out about human rights and has used its social media presence to criticize China’s treatment of the Uyghur community, among a number of other social issues.

The US State Department estimates that up to 2 million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have been held in internment camps in Xinjiang province since 2017, although China has repeatedly denied accusations of human rights abuses.

“I want to say thank you to Mr. Yao Ming…I actually want to go to China and see it all with my own eyes,” Freedom told CNN reporter John Berman on New Day. “But on this trip, I would like to ask Mister Yao Ming, will I be able to visit the labor camps?”

He added, “I don’t need to lecture through China, I don’t want propaganda. I want to see the real China and show the whole world what’s going on. So, yeah, I’m actually accepting his offer.”

Freedom has also previously raised awareness of China’s treatment of Tibet, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and recently called for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The 29-year-old’s comments sparked a backlash in the Asian country, where Celtics Games have been pulled through Chinese video streaming site Tencent and the government criticized Freedom’s comments.

Enes Kanter Freedom wore shoes in support of the Uyghur community in China.

“I want everyone to know that the CPC is not the core of Olympic excellence, friendship and respect,” he added. “They are a brutal dictatorship. They threaten liberties and do not respect human rights.”

Earlier this week, the Golden State Warriors distanced themselves from comments made by part owner Chamath Palihapitiya, who said in a podcast that “no one cares what happens to the Uyghurs.” “It’s nice that you care, but the rest of us don’t,” he added.

The Warriors’ family said in a statement that Palihapitiya “has no day operating jobs” with the team and that “his views certainly do not reflect those of our organization.”

For his part, Freedom called Balhabitia’s comments “incredible,” adding, “It was pathetic, it was disgusting, and I was definitely very ashamed of it.”

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