NBA Star Enes Kanter has provoked criticism from former NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal for his comments about another NBA great — Michael Jordan. Here is in full the comments which have provoked the backlash.
“Not many people are talking about Michael Jordan,” said Enes. “Michael Jordan hasn’t done anything, nothing, for the Black community in America besides just, you know, giving them money. I feel like we need to call out these athletes. At least LeBron James is going out there and being the voice of all those people who are oppressed in America. Michael Jordan has not done anything for the Black community because he cares too much about his shoe sales all over the world and America, and I feel like we need to call out these athletes and not be scared about who they are.”
NBA Star Enes Kanter has added “Freedom” to his name this week in celebration of taking American citizenship. Freedom has become one of the most outspoken players in the NBA .The Turkish born NBA star has been at the center of a controversy with Lebron James over the Los Angeles Lakers stars past support for communist China.
Shaquille O’Neal had this response for the statements from Kanter regarding Micheal Jordan.
“I understand your beef with LeBron, but don’t be talking about what Mike does for the black community,” said Shaq on ‘The Big Podcast.’ “I don’t know his name, I’m not memorizing his name, I don’t give a sh*t what he change his name to.”
The reference to his name was a reference to Freedom which Kanter has added to his name. Enes Kanter Freedom has taken to his shoes to criticize Lebron James and Nike for staying silent on China’s treatment of its Uyghur minority. Despite the fact that James is outspoken on social issues in the United States such as the Black Lives Matter movement
In three minute video posted to Twitter last month Freedom, then known as Kanter, questioned why Nike which supports causes like “Black Lives Matter” and “Stop Asia Hate” has stayed silent on human rights abuses in China involving the Uyghurs, Tibetans, and other minority groups.
Freedom has also taken his protest beyond his social media account– to his shoes and warn various pairs with the themes “Free Tibet”, “Free Uyghur”, and “Free China.” Another pair attacked Lebron James directly for his 2019 statements which appeared to support China’s policy of Uyghur repression.
That same year in at least two incidents’ individuals were removed from NBA games for carrying signs or other memorabilia in support of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protestors and China’s Uyghur minority.
The NBA player isn’t the only one who has taken notice of China’s treatment of its minority groups.
Earlier this year the United States government in line with several governments around the world labeled China’s treatment of its Uyghur population a genocide. China says it is only involved in repressing terrorism in what it see’s as a frontier province.