Human rights

Enes Kanter Freedom discusses human rights abuses in China with GOP lawmakers

FFormer NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom met with members of the Republican Study Committee to discuss China’s humanitarian abuses against Uyghur Muslims and the country’s influence on key US industries at the Capitol on Wednesday.

The former NBA center, who is Muslim, came to Washington to support policy changes he believes are needed to crack down on human rights abuses abroad, discussing steps that can be taken to help end the Chinese Communist Party’s abuses against ethnic and religious minorities.


CCP leaders have been accused of imprisoning up to 3 million Uyghurs in “internment camps, with reports of forced sterilizations, abortions and genocide.

Kanter Freedom, who previously played for the Boston Celtics and is now a free agent after being kicked out of the Houston Rockets over what he says was his political activism, has been highly critical of the sports industry’s business dealings with the China. He pointed out that NBA owners have invested a combined $10 billion in Chinese companies despite their knowledge of the CCP’s actions.

After answering questions from the conservative group, Kanter Freedom told the Washington Examiner he thinks more needs to be done from a legislative standpoint to limit China’s influence in a range of areas.

“My only message was, I think we just have to hold this dictatorship accountable. You know, I think we need to put more pressure on dictatorships around the world – obviously if you look at the world right now the worst is obviously China,” he said. asked a lot of questions about the relationship between the NBA and China because if you look at the numbers, I believe 40 NBA owners have locked up $10 billion in China.


Kanter Freedom added that he was encouraged by legislation led by RSC Chairman Jim Banks (R-IN) aimed at closing loopholes used by some companies to circumvent work restrictions with companies that use the hand -Uyghur labor by inflicting sanctions.

“We need strong action like bills, but that’s what really got me excited when Congressman Banks told me about his two new bills coming out,” he said. he declares.

Kanter Freedom, who has backed a boycott of the Beijing Olympics, told reporters he thinks athletes need to focus less on profit and try harder to focus on what’s right.

“Right before the Olympics, actually, I tried to reach so many Olympians, so many athletes. Unfortunately, they were also scared. They care too much about their sponsorship deals,” Kanter Freedom said. “They care too much about their next paycheck, and I even tried to have a conversation with some of my teammates and some NBA people. Well, they said, ‘I think what you’re doing is so amazing, we love you, we support you, but we just can’t do it out loud.”

In addition to meeting with the RSC, he also met briefly with President Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

According to two sources who attended the RSC lunch, when asked by Banks about his meeting with the speaker: “He said the interaction with Pelosi was very brief, about 25 to 30 seconds, and that she grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him back. and tried to give him advice on how to play basketball.