Enes Kanter lashes out on Nike for being “scared” to speak against Uyghur treatment

NBA star Enes Kanter says Nike is ‘scared to speak up’ against China and wears ‘Modern Day Slavery’ shoes in protest of Uyghur treatment.

Kanter lashes out on Nike for being scared to speak up against China, calling out to do more in raising voice against the violence going on in the country.

The Boston Celtics center, who has been quite vocal on the treatment of minorities in China, wore customized shoes in his team’s win against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday with the words “Modern Day Slavery” and “No More Excuses” written on them.
In a video posted on Kanter’s Twitter, he called out to Nike for its silence on this injustice in China.
On his monday post, the NBA star stated, “Nike remains vocal about injustice here in America, but when it comes to China, Nike remains silent,” using the hashtags #EndUyghurForcedLabor and #HypocriteNike.
He further added, “You do not address police brutality in China, you do not speak about discrimination against the LGBTQ community, you do not say a word about the oppression of minorities in China, you are scared to speak up.”
Kanter’s criticism targeted the injustice and oppression on the Uyghur community in China, which according to the US State Department estimated up to two million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities detained in internment camps in Xinjiang since 2017.
Recently an ex-detective revealed rare details on the systematic torture against ethnic Uyghurs in a three-hour long interview in Europe where he is now in exile.
On the other hand, China has repeatedly denied allegations on human rights abuses, claiming that the detention camps are necessary to prevent religious extremism and terrorism.
Kanter furthered his criticism saying, “Who makes your shoes in China? Do you even know?” pointing out that those shoes were “tainted” by the enforced labor.
“There are so many forced labor factories in China. For instance, Uyghur forced labor, it is 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.
“Don’t forget, every time you put those shoes on your feet, or you put that t-shirt on your back, there are so many tears and so much oppression and so much blood behind it all.”

Earlier this year, Nike made a statement saying, “We are concerned about reports of forced labor” and claiming that it did not source products from Xinjiang, China.

“We are concerned about reports of forced labor in, and connected to, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR)”, the statement further quoted, “Nike is committed to ethical and responsible manufacturing and we uphold international labor standards,”
“Nike does not source products from the XUAR and we have confirmed with our contract suppliers that they are not using textiles or spun yarn from the region.”
However, Nike did not have an immediate reply for Kanter’s criticism released in his latest video.
Kanter’s video ended in him inviting Nike’s co-founder Phil Knight and high-profile ambassadors Michael Jordan and LeBron James to a trip to China so they can “see [it] with your own eyes” where the shoes are made.
“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,” he added.
“Nike must be a participant in this. Stop the hypocrisy, stop the modern-day slavery now.”
Kanter also criticized China’s oppression on Tibet earning an answer from Wang Wenbin, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, who turned down his criticism as they “were not worth refuting” and that the NBA player was just “trying to get attention.”
It is to be noted that two years earlier, Daryl Morey, the then-general manager of the Houston Rockets, raised a similar controversy regarding NBA and China in a tweet which was deleted right afterwards, whereby he expressed support for the pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. A year later, Morey stepped down.
Kanter has a Turkish background and has been repeatedly vocal defending various political movements, including criticisms of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. As a result, he faced consistent death threats including a criminal trial of his father back home.
Stay tuned to Baaghi TV for latest news and updates!