After Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter criticized China’s treatment of Tibet, the NBA is dealing with yet another incident involving China.
The Celtics’ season-opening game against the New York Knicks was canceled by Chinese video-streaming site Tencent, and fans slammed Kanter and the team on Chinese social media.
Tencent Sports’ website also stated that upcoming Celtics games would not be livestreamed, but would instead feature an interactive graphic.
A Celtics fan page with approximately 615,000 followers on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, announced that it would not be posting updates from the team due to a player’s social media oversights.
“From now on, our page will no longer report any information about the Boston Celtics, and our Weibo will stop updating!” read the post from Celtics Weibo Express. “For any behavior that undermines harmony of the nations and the dignity of the motherland, we resolutely resist!”
Kanter, wearing a t-shirt featuring the 14th Dalai Lama, the Tibetan people’s Buddhist spiritual leader, posted a video on social media directed at President Xi Jinping and the Chinese government on Wednesday with the caption “Tibet belongs to the Tibetan people,” calling Xi a “brutal dictator” and calling Xi a “brutal dictator.”
Since a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, the Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India and travels the world to spread his message of tolerance and peace.
“My message to the Chinese government is free Tibet,” Kanter said. “Tibet belongs to Tibetans, I am here to add my voice and speak out against what is happening in Tibet under the Chinese government’s brutal rule.”
“Under the Chinese government’s brutal rule, Tibetan people’s basic rights and freedoms are non-existent.”
Kanter followed it up with another post which said: “More than 150 Tibetan people have burned themselves alive!! — hoping that such an act would raise more awareness about Tibet. I stand with my Tibetan brothers and sisters, and I support their calls for Freedom.”