Muslim NBA Player Enes Kanter Calls Out China on Uyghur Genocide

The Boston Celtic's Center, Enes Kanter, has blasted Nike over its use of Chinese laborers, including Uyghur slave laborers. During the Celtic game versus Charlotte Hornets in North Carolina on October 25, Kanter wore personalized shoes. The phrases "made with slave labor," "modern-day slaves," "no more excuses," and "hypocrite Nike" was written visibly on the sides of the shoes.

Kanter's on-court protest was followed by a video he posted on his Twitter account. In the video, Kanter addressed Nike directly, claiming that the company has been very eager to speak out against injustices in the US but has remained silent with China's treatment of the Uyghurs.

"Here in the US, Nike stands with the Black Lives Matter, stop-Asian-hate, Latino community, and with the LGBTQ community," Kanter explained. "But when it comes to China, Nike remains silent," he added.

Kanter enumerates Nike's conflicting stance regarding the same social issues in China, especially Uyghur slave labor. "Almost the entire footwear industry is tainted by Uyghuy forced labor," Kanter announced in the video. Kanter also highlighted Nike's empty claims of not using forced labor in the manufacturing process of their products. "Yet, they don't have the receipt to prove it!" he added.

Kanter, a Turkish-American citizen, born in Switzerland, joined the NBA in 2011 as the 3rd draft for the Utah Jazz. Before his skirmish with China over his support for Tibet, Kanter clashed with Erdogan. Turkey canceled his passport in 2017 and accused him of terrorism for speaking against the hardline president.

One of the known Muslim players, Kanter, considers his role in the NBA a big platform. He believes that the messages he writes on his shoes attract more people and will amplify the message. "I'm trying to be a voice for all those innocent people who don't have one," Kanter explained during an interview in New York City.

Nike has not released any official statement in response to Kanter's video and has not taken any action at all. China, on the other hand, is following a different approach towards Kanter's attacks. Opposite to their response, Daryl Morey, Houston Rockets General Manager, posted a tweet supporting Hong Kong. China remains silent but banned all broadcasts of any games with the Boston Celtics while keeping other NBA broadcasts available.

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