Boston Celtics Enes Kanter Freedom is not afraid to speak out on what he sees as human injustices across the globe.
Since October, Kanter Freedom 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 his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
He’s also gone after Nike for their alleged use of Uyghur labor in the making of their products, along with those who profit off of Nike products.
Now, Kanter Freedom is turning his attention to Venezuela.
On Monday, Kanter Freedom took to social media to attack Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for his “human rights abuses.” He did so with the help of Juan Guaido, a U.S.-backed Venezuelan politician.
“We need to save Venezuela,” Guaido said in the video. “We have to save democracy. That’s the cause that motivate us, and that can save lives and future of millions of people. But we need our voices to be heard, and that’s why we thank the people that help us, people like Enes Kanter, who is fighting a courageous battle for freedom. He is a voice for millions who are suffering the oppression of powerful regimes that constantly violate the human rights of the people and humiliate their dignity.”
We need to hold these brutal Dictators like @NicolasMaduro accountable for their human rights abuses.
— Enes Kanter FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) December 7, 2021
Kanter Freedom followed up the video with a message for those who were forced to flee Venezuela in recent years, alongside a new version of his custom shoes.
“I’m here to raise the voices of millions against a Dictatorship that made 6 million+ people flee [Venezuela],” Kanter Freedom posted to Twitter. “6 million+ people who are now looking for a chance to survive outside of their country & dreaming of returning home to hug their loved ones. We need to help [Save Venezuela].”
I'm here to raise the voices of millions against a Dictatorship that made
6 million+ people flee #Venezuela
6 million+ people who are now looking for a chance to survive outside of their country & dreaming of returning home to hug their loved ones
— Enes Kanter FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) December 8, 2021
As The Daily Wire reported in September, 76.6% of Venezuelans live in extreme poverty, a number which rose nearly 10% over the past year.
“The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom finds that Venezuela is the 177th freest nation in the world — underperforming every other country with the exception of North Korea,” Ben Zeisloft of The Daily Wire reported.
As the Heritage Foundation said:
Economic freedom has been suffocated in Venezuela under the Chávez and Maduro regimes. If a transitional government could take power and begin the long return to market democracy, it would have to end hyperinflation, restructure public debt, and rebuild institutions to restore confidence in the rule of law and promote investment. The first priority, however, would be to reestablish the cultural foundations of entrepreneurship and free markets.
Venezuela’s modern democratic era lasted from the end of military rule in 1959 until the election of Hugo Chávez in 1999. His successor, Nicolás Maduro, completed the destruction of democratic institutions and established an authoritarian dictatorship in 2017.
While Kanter Freedom’s criticism of the Chinese government has created quite a stir, it has been his criticism of NBA legend LeBron James that has caused waves in past weeks.
In the Celtics’ November 19 matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers, Kanter Freedom sported custom shoes that took direct aim at James. A day before, he took to social media with a message for James accompanied by pictures of his custom footwear.
“Money over Morals for the ‘King’ Crown. Sad & disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice,” Kanter Freedom said, referring to James. “They really do ‘shut up & dribble’ when Big Boss [Flag of China] says so. Did you educate yourself about the slave labor that made your shoes or is that not part of your research?”
Last week, Kanter Freedom said that he was willing to sit down and speak with James in an “uncomfortable conversation” regarding his unwillingness to speak out against human rights abuses in China.
“Sure, I’d love to sit down and talk to him,” Kanter Freedom said according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “I’m sure it’s going to be a very uncomfortable conversation for him. I don’t know if he’s gonna want that. I’ll make that really comfortable for him.”
“I don’t know if he’s educated enough, but I’m here to educate him and I’m here to help him, because it’s not about money. It’s about morals, principles and values. It’s about what you stand for. There are way bigger things than money. If LeBron stopped making money now, his grandkids and grandkids and grandkids can have the best life ever.”
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 [email protected].