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NBA Player's 'Free Tibet' Shoes Sees Boston Celtics Games Pulled From Chinese Streaming Service

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NBA Player's 'Free Tibet' Shoes Sees Boston Celtics Games Pulled From Chinese Streaming Service

Boston Celtics games have been pulled from the Chinese internet after Enes Kanter publicly criticised the country's President Xi Jinping.

In a clip posted on social media, Celtics veteran Kanter - while wearing a T-shirt of the Dalai Lama - sent a message to the "communist" Chinese government, saying "Tibet belongs to the Tibetan people" while also describing Xi Jinping as a "brutal dictator".

"Under the the Chinese government's brutal rule, Tibetan people's basic rights and freedoms are non-existent," Kanter said in the video

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"They are not allowed to study and learn their language and culture freely. They are not allowed to travel freely. They are not allowed to access information freely. The Tibetan people are not even allowed to worship freely.

"The Chinese dictatorship is erasing Tibetan identity and culture.

"I stand with my Tibetan brothers and sisters and I support their calls for freedom."

The 29-year-old also posted a picture of his customised 'FREE TIBET' shoes which appear to show someone burning in flames.

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It's understood he wore the sneakers while watching his Celtics side face the New York Knicks.

The caption read: "More than 150 Tibetan people have burned themselves alive!! Hoping that such an act would raise more awareness about Tibet. I stand with my Tibetan brothers and sisters, and I support their calls for Freedom."

In response to Kanter's message, it seems China are boycotting various games - similar to what they did when Houston Rocket general manager Daryl Morey tweeted a message of support to protestors in Hong Kong back in 2019.

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Less than 24 hours after Kanter's statements, Chinese tech giants Tencent revealed that Celtics games for the new NBA season had been pulled from its streaming service.

But while some people threw their support behind him, a bunch of others flooded to popular Chinese social media platform Weibo to take aim at Kanter.

Enes Kanter. Credit: PA
Enes Kanter. Credit: PA

The NBA is yet to comment, although China has already gone wading in.

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"His ridiculous allegation is not even worth refuting," a spokesperson from the Chinese foreign ministry said.

"We welcome all friends from all countries to visit Tibet without prejudice and with an objective stance."

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@eneskanter11

Topics: NBA, Australia

Max Sherry
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