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‘A True Leader’: Enes Kanter Freedom To Kareem Abdul-Jabbar After He Hits China Over Human Rights Abuses
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 24: Enes Kanter #13 of the Boston Celtics looks on during a game against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden on November 24, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
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Enes Kanter Freedom is beginning to gain support from the NBA community as he continues his criticism of the Chinese government for its record of human rights abuses. 

On Tuesday, Freedom shared a video of a December 2 Substack video in which NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar expresses support for Freedom, citing his admiration for Freedom’s “unapologetic bravery.”

“Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter became an American citizen on Monday, and changed his name to Enes Kanter Freedom,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “The 11-year veteran, who was born in Turkey, has been an outspoken critic of China’s inhuman treatment of the two million Uyghurs who have reportedly faced enslavement, torture, and other abuses. Enes has also criticized Chinese policies toward Tibet, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, and has asked that the U.S. boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic games in protest.” 

“His protests have brought retaliation from China, who have pulled Celtics games from the streaming site Tencent,” Abdul-Jabbar continued. “I can’t help but admire Enes’ unapologetic bravery and commitment to the very freedom he celebrates with his name change. China is a big source of money for the NBA, so to criticize their cruelty and inhumanity is a bold step. He is just the kind of courageous American citizen we need.”

Freedom shared the video with a message for his fellow players, encouraging them to stand up for what is right. 

“Huge thanks to [NBA] legend [Kareem Abdul-Jabbar] for your support and bringing more awareness to all the human rights abuses in [China],” Freedom wrote. “Hoping this encourages other athletes to stand up for what is right. You are a true leader [Kareem Abdul-Jabbar].”


Freedom has called out China and its leader Xi Jinping over the past month and a half. He has called for a free Tibet, an independent Taiwan, called on the Chinese government to “stop the genocide” of the Uyghur people, and challenged President Joe Biden to “stop playing games with bullies” ahead of a meeting with Jinping.

Over the weekend, Freedom was joined by NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins in calling for the end of the Uyghur genocide in China.

“History is written in two ways: One, you can sit on the couch and watch how it’s written. Or two, you can do something about it and write history,” Wilkins said in the video. “Which side are we taking?”

“What is happening to the Uyghur people is one of the worst human rights tragedies in the world today,” Wilkins continued. “We cannot stay silent.”

Wilkins played 15 years in the NBA — 12 with the Atlanta Hawks — and was inducted into the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Freedom went on to discuss the “concentration camps” that have reportedly been created for the Uyghurs.

“There is a genocide happening right now. The Chinese government is sending millions of Uyghurs to concentration camps where they are subject to torture, forced labor, rape, and sterilization,” Freedom said. “All simply because they embrace their own religion, their own culture, language, history, and identity.”

“All of us must spread the word and call on the Chinese government to free the Uyghur people,” Freedom continued. “We need to wake up, we need to speak up. Close the camps. Stop the genocide. Freedom for all.”

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to

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