Our sister site Townhall spotlighted the courage and true awareness (as opposed to Woke ideology) coming from Celtics center Enes Kanter. Kanter took to live video to not only blast China for its slave labor camps and treatment of Uyghurs, but Kanter posted another video, stepping it up a notch by condemning President Xi Jinping and other Middle East leaders for these abuses.
In response, CCP pulled Celtics games from Chinese media. Despite this backlash, Kanter is refusing to be silenced. Today he posted this video targeting Nike’s CEO, and the company’s selective history of human rights.
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) October 25, 2021
Your company says that you are making a positive impact in our communities. And that is true. Yes, you are. Here in the United States, Nike stands with the Black Lives Matter, Nike stands with Stop Asian Hate, Nike stands with the Latino community. And Nike stands with the LGBTQ community. And Nike remains vocal about injustice here in America.
But when it comes to China, Nike remains silent. You do not address police brutality in China. You do not speak against discrimination against the LGBTQ community. You do not say a word about the oppression of minorities in China. You are scared to speak up.
This is the same company who also propped up failed activist quarterback Colin Kaepernick and paid him $5 million dollars to tank their Betsy Ross flag line of shoes. Kanter is right to question the disconnect between trumpeting so-called free speech and activism in America, while being silent on China’s destructive labor practices.
Who makes your shoes in China? Do you even know? There are so many forced labor factories in China. For instance, Uyghur forced labor, a modern day slavery. And it is happening right now in China.
Millions of Uyghurs are currently detained, sold, and assigned to work at forced labor camps, prisons and factories across the country. They are under constant surveillance with long working hours and poor living conditions. They are subject to political reeducation, they have no freedom of expression, no freedom of religion. And they are not even able to leave.
Did you know that almost the entire apparel and footwear industry is tainted by Uyghur forced labor? Many well-known global brands are implicated, and yes, that includes one of the NBA’s biggest sponsors: Nike.
Add Chanel, Costco, Jimmy Choo, Victoria’s Secret, Coach, Hugo Boss, and a number of others to that list. What fills half of our closets and shopping carts is unconsciously supporting Uyghur slave labor.
Nike claims that they do not allow any forced labor in their supply chain, yet they don’t have the receipts to prove it. They have not publicly committed to cutting ties with the Chinese government labor trafficking. They have not provided clear timelines or updates about their efforts to end this. They have not publicly committed to the steps outlined by the Coalition to End Uyghur Forced Labour.
Don’t forget: every time you put those shoes on your feet, or put that t-shirt on your back, there are so many tears and so much oppression, and so much blood behind it all.
That’s a shot right between the eyes.
Nike likes to say, “Just Do It.” Well, what are you doing about the slave labor that makes your shoes? That slave labor that makes you rich?
To the owner of Nike, Phil Knight, I have a message for you. How about I book our plane tickets for us? Let’s fly to China together. We can try to visit these slave labor camps, and you can see it with your own eyes.
Kanter then does something no other athlete has done: called out the NBA icons: LeBron James and Michael Jordan for their signature shoe complicity in the matter.
Lebron James and Michael Jordan, you guys are welcome to come too. Nike must be a participant in this. Stop with the hypocrisy. Stop the modern day slavery NOW.
Kanter is not just grandstanding—he is actually living out what he is asking of Nike, James, and Jordan. Kanter has criticized Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his Turkish passport has been revoked. He cannot legally return to his home country. Kanter has expressed concern for his life because Erdogan’s men threaten him constantly. All because he is taking a stand, and calling out dictators and slavery.
So, this is not academic, or the latest cause célèbre, as it is with so many other athletes. Kanter lives it, and also wears it on his feet.
— Emily Harris (@emharris33) October 25, 2021
XI JINPING and the Chinese Communist Party
Someone has to teach you a lesson,
I will NEVER apologize for speaking the truth.
You can NOT buy me.
You can NOT scare me.
You can NOT silence me.
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) October 24, 2021
Kanter also has “Free Tibet” and “Free Uyghur” shoes by the same designer that he wears when he is on the court.
What a courageous young man, who actually practices what he preaches, and understands the cost of taking a stand.