Enes Kanter #11 of the Boston Celtics tackles the ball against the Portland Trail Blazers at The Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 2, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Mike Ehrman | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images
GUANGZHOU, China – The National Basketball Association may once again face a backlash in China after Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter tweeted a video in support of Tibetan independence.
Shortly after the tweet on Wednesday, footage from the Celtics vs Knicks game on the Tencent Sports app was cancelled. It also appears that upcoming Celtics games are not available for live streaming.
China-based Tencent declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.
In a video posted on Twitter, Kanter called Chinese President Xi Jinping a “brutal dictator” and said he supports the “cause of freedom” for the Tibetan people. nba star, Who has commented on political issues beforeHe repeated the phrase “Free Tibet” three times while wearing a T-shirt with the Dalai Lama on it.
“Under the brutal rule of the Chinese government, the basic rights and freedoms of the Tibetan people do not exist,” Kanter said. The Chinese Foreign Ministry could not be reached for comment.
Chinese Communist forces took control of Tibet in 1950. China believes that Tibet has long been part of its territory and that military action was part of the peaceful liberation of the region. China has denounced the current Dalai Lama, whom Buddhists consider their spiritual leader and currently in exile in India, as a separatist. The Dalai Lama has denied that he is a separatist.
In June last year, independent United Nations experts They “raised their concerns regarding a range of issues of critical importance” including “the mass repression of the population, especially religious and ethnic minorities, in Xinjiang and Tibet.”
China has repeatedly She said The issues relating to Tibet, the northwest region of Xinjiang and Hong Kong are not human rights issues. China insists that these are “internal affairs” and other countries should not interfere.
Neither the Boston Celtics nor the NBA China could be reached for comment when contacted by CNBC.
On Twitter-like Chinese Weibo, 1 Boston Celtics fan account has 615,000 followers They said they won’t publish information about the team anymore.
The NBA, the most popular American sports league in China, has faced backlash before due to sensitive issues.
In 2019, then Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey sent a tweet in support of anti-government protests in Hong Kong. I apologize later. But the accident caused major repercussions including Broadcasters suspend ‘Rockets’ matches And Business partners cut ties with the team.
Kanter had previously criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the government He reportedly canceled his Turkish passport in 2017.
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