Enes Kanter Freedom says the NBA is ‘run by Chinese dictatorship’ after exclusive recordings emerge

Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” obtained exclusive recordings of NBA officials indicating the league was trying to crack down on former Houston Rockets center Ennis Kanter Freedom’s criticism of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, for staying in Beijing’s favour.

Canter Freedom, who changed his last name in tribute to his adopted country the United States, joined Carlson to strike back, after recordings of a sample of characters including the general counsel of the players union surfaced.

In one recording, NBPA attorney Ron Klempner said he had just spoken with the league’s attorney at the time, and that he wanted to have “a conversation about their concerns right now not so much what you say in court but what you say in court when you step into court.”

Kanter Freedom wore several adherent to NBA rules but anti-CCP slogans such as “Free Tibet” and “slave labor”—the latter also directed at shoemaker Nike.

NBA calls for freedom to take off shoes that criticized China

LeBron James #23 and Ennis Kanter #00 exchange words at Madison Square Garden.

LeBron James #23 and Ennis Kanter #00 exchange words at Madison Square Garden.
(Elsa/Getty)

Another recording depicted Mark Lasry, owner of the Bill Clinton-linked Milwaukee Bucks, explaining how China would not do business with the league if athletes criticized their government, saying at one point that “it’s commerce.”

“China has taken a very aggressive stance, which is ‘If you want to get away from us, you’re out — which I understand, it’s business,'” he said.

Kanter Freedom said the recordings prove that China rules the NBA.

“This is proof of how the Chinese dictatorship can run a 100% American company,” he told host Tucker Carlson. “And wake up, America. This is the league you have been supporting and watching. Enough of that. This is unacceptable.”

He added, “They’re angry because finally, someone from the inside – I’ve played 11 years in this league, finally exposed them, and I say it again. That’s enough.”

China’s opposition to Ennis Kanter could create a message for the NBA

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
(Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Kanter Freedom, who was notably traded to the Rockets and then quickly relinquished, once again called on the NBA to “stop giving in to dictatorships.”

The center, who previously played for the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks, added that it had received warnings from other players who said they could not publicly support it due to China’s effective control of the league.

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Xi Jinping.

Xi Jinping.
(Ju Peng/Xinhua via Getty Images)

He noted that the NBA, like many other sports leagues, claims a “concern for social justice” adding that it only lasts until it “affects their money and business”.

Kanter Freedom said he is under pressure to retire at the athletic age of 30, but told Fox News that he will continue to fight for his message and will continue to look for a roster spot while “shaming” the league.

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The NBA responded to the tapes in a statement to “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” in which commissioner Adam Silver “made it clear that we support players, including Mr. Freedom, to express their opinions on matters that matter to them.”

Canter Freedom formerly called the League for North Carolina County after then-governor of North Carolina. Patrick McCrory’s transgender bathroom bill, while he was playing in the United Arab Emirates, where homosexuality is illegal.

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