Ines Kanter Freedom, an NBA-based China critic, says he will soon launch a foundation that campaigns for civil rights in countries like China and Turkey.
The 11-year-old excursion center says the Enes Kanter Freedom Foundation will occupy him full time, now that he has given up playing in the NBA again. He is scheduled to launch the nonprofit Thursday at a press conference on Capitol Hill, where he has vocal support from conservatives.
“A lot of people like to ask me if I’m a Republican or a Democrat, but I don’t want to take any side,” Freedom, 30, told The Washington Times. “I am for truth and justice. I must speak what is right even if it means sacrificing everything I have.”
He confirmed that no teams have contacted him since the Houston Rockets gave up his contract after getting him from the Boston Celtics in February.
His frequent and outspoken criticism of the association’s close business ties to China and of the communist regime’s abuses of human rights earned him Conservative praise, as well as an appearance on Fox News and a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
“I think the NBA is the most hypocritical organization in America and I think I am blackball. If I only talked about Turkey and not China, I would be playing in the league now,” he said in an exclusive interview.
An NBA spokesperson made a statement to the Washington Times.
“We have always supported and will continue to support members of the NBA family, including Ines Freedom, to express their views on social and political issues,” the spokesperson said in an email. “We believe broadcasting matches to fans in China and over 200 other countries and regions aligns with our mission to inspire and connect people everywhere through the power of basketball.” Freedom mocked the statement.
All these landlords pretend to care about social justice. But all they care about is money and business.
His sneakers displaying political messages and his Twitter videos calling Chinese President Xi Jinping a “heartless dictator” over his treatment of Muslim Uighurs and Tibetan Buddhists prompted Chinese television to ban all Celtics games in October.
While a Chinese official said the giant man’s allegations were “not worth refuting,” Freedom has criticized NBA and NBA star LeBron James in interviews throughout the season for taking advantage of Chinese forced labor in subsidizing sneakers.
Mr. Freedom says he believes the Celtics Games blackout has cost the league “millions of dollars”.
“Unfortunately, no one talks about China because everyone is afraid of the power they have. Everyone is afraid of business they might lose, shoe sales, and not a single Muslim country says China is doing something wrong,” he said on Wednesday.
He will share his criticism of communist China at the closing banquet next week for the International Religious Freedom Summit, a gathering of more than 40 advocacy groups in Washington.
Born in Switzerland to Turkish parents, Freedom lost his citizenship in Turkey, where his father was once imprisoned for speaking out against the government. He added “freedom” to his name after he became a US citizen in November.