Enes Kanter Goes Hard in the Paint Against China

21 Oct 2021

CLAY: Welcome back to the Clay Travis, Buck Sexton show. We appreciate all of you hanging out with us, helping us to fight battles in favor of truth, justice and the American way.

BUCK: Not a better tomorrow. Not going with that new Superman slogan. Sorry.

CLAY: Can you believe that? They took away truth, justice and the American way? For those of you who don’t know, they took “American way” out of the Superman slogan, which sounds like a small thing, and it is in the grand scheme of the larger universe. But it’s just reflective of how many people in entertainment hate the American way right now. They have been sold on the idea that America’s an awful place, that it’s a fundamentally racist and anti-human rights universe, and I want to give credit, by the way, I invited this guy on our show I sent him a DM, Enes Kanter who is an NBA player but is from Turkey.

And he knows firsthand the impacts of what can happen when you speak out and say what you truly believe. He’s not allowed to return to the country, Buck. There’s a warrant for his arrest. Sometimes he’s not even able to travel outside of the United States. His family has been imprisoned over fighting for basic human rights in Turkey and ending in the crosshairs of that government.

BUCK: The Erdogan regime in Turkey has, I think, per capita jailed more journalists than any country in the world, with a possible exception of China, but we don’t really know what the China numbers are. But Turkey is, the regime is a straight-up enemy of free speech and journalism as a general issue, general she doesn’t want to so you guys know and probably remember last year I believe it was before all covid madness, it might have been a year and a half ago I guess, when Daryl Morey spoke out and said free honk. It’s all he did was at the time Houston Rockets general manager, turned into a massive conflagration all over China, all over the United States, really. The NBA games were banned for over a year. You couldn’t watch them. China demanded that Morey apologize. The NBA players did not speak out.

They said many things that were favorable to the Chinese communist government. And for the most part despite being an incredibly political league, no real players had said anything about the lack of basic human rights in China, until yesterday when Enes Kanter who plays for the Boston Celtics came out and went hard in the paint against China, calling Chairman Xi an evil dictator, coming out in favor of freedom for people in Tibet and Hong Kong, brave of Enes Kanter, again, who I have invited on this program.

But we are, I believe, on the precipice right now of a major geopolitical, cultural war that could become an incredible flashpoint surrounding an NBA player calling out China. China has already responded by banning Boston Celtics games in their country. And, again, what Enes Kanter said was that Chairman Xi is a brutal dictator, and he called for the freedom of the Tibet and Hong Kong people from being put underneath the thumb of Chairman Xi and the communist dictatorship that is there.

I am curious whether the NBA media will do their job and follow up by asking other players and other team executives their opinion on this. But one of the ultimate hypocrisies in American sports has been the left-wing Blue Checkmark Brigade members, Buck, they cheer on any denigration of America or American values or American institutions by athletes, and they don’t apply the same standards to the rest of the countries around the world. In fact, they kowtow, bend the knee to Chinese leadership. And so I gotta give credit to Enes Kanter here, and I hope other players are going to follow his lead. Because if they do, it’s going to expose and, by the way, this isn’t just the NBA. It’s Disney, it’s Apple, it’s all these major corporations.

CLAY: So this is why it’s different than what you, the normal way this plays out is with human, with women’s rights, for example, we’ll say, why is it the American left only gets upset about the equal pay gap and doesn’t complain more about Afghanistan, they say Afghanistan’s a poor country, doesn’t have influence, we’re never gonna effect any change there. NBA players are known and have real sway in China, right?

BUCK: Yes.

The NBA is celebrated in China. So an NBA player speaking out will be noticed by to the degree that they can get around the great firewall of China but will be noticed by Chinese nationals. And of course this is our near peer competitor. So the implications of freedom in China aren’t just for that country but for other countries on its periphery and perhaps around the world as it becomes more powerful and influential.

CLAY: Here’s the cut from Enes Kanter I want you to hear from him himself. Again he’s Turkish. This is what he said.

KANTER: My message for the Chinese government is free Tibet. Tibet belongs to Tibetans. I’m here to add my voice and speak out about what is happening to them under the Chinese government’s brutal rule, Tibetan people’s basic rights and freedoms are non existent. They’re not allowed to study and only their language and culture freely. They’re not allowed to travel freely. They’re not allowed to access information freely. The Tibetan people are not even allowed to worship freely.

CLAY: That is Enes Kanter speaking out directly. We’ll talk more about this as this story grows.

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