Enes Kanter Freedom, the Boston Celtics center, recently announced that he would welcome the opportunity to sit down with Lakers superstar LeBron James in order to discuss the various human rights abuses omnipresent across China.
The Celtics star, who recently changed his last name from “Kanter” to “Freedom” after becoming an American citizen, has openly criticized the ongoing human right abuses in China. The Celtics star has also explicitly called out NBA sponsor Nike, along with James, for their continuous failure to acknowledge the varied injustices endured by the Uyghur population, located in the Xinjiang province of China.
During a conversation with the media following a Celtics practice session, Freedom stated that he was interested in having the chance to “educate” James on China’s human rights abuses.
“I’d love to sit down and talk to him,” Freedom proclaimed, adding that the discussion would likely be “a very uncomfortable conversation for him.”
“I don’t know if he’s gonna want that,” Freedom continued, adding that he would make an effort to ensure the conversation is “really comfortable for [James].”
“I don’t know if he’s educated enough,” Freedom continued, adding that he was available to educate the outspoken James on the realities of human rights abuses in China.
“It’s not about money,” Freedom declared, “it’s about morals, principles, and values,” as well as “what you stand for.”
The Celtics star added that many things in life “are way bigger” than money, adding that even if James were to quit “making money now,” his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and other generations would continue to “have the best life ever.”
Freedom asserts that now is the time “for athletes to stand up for the things they believe in,” not only in the United States, but also “all over the world.”
James, however, has declined Freedom’s offer thus far, claiming that Freedom is just “trying to use [his] name to create an opportunity for himself.”
The Lakers star was alluding to a tweet wherein Freedom proclaimed, “Money over morals for the ‘King'” in reference to James.
“Sad and disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice,” Freedom’s tweet continued before segueing into remarks on China.
“They really do ‘shut up and dribble’ when [China] says so,” Freedom added, inquiring whether or not James had educated himself “about the slave labor that made [his] shoes.”
“Or is that not part of your research?” Freedom concluded.
James, however, refused to comment on China, and instead claims that Freedom has simply “always had a word or two to say in [his] direction.”
“As a man, if you’ve got an issue with somebody, you really come up to him,” James declared, alleging that Freedom had the opportunity to do so in the past.