China plans to ban future Boston Celtics NBA games from being live-streamed in their country. The decision comes following a controversial tweet from Celtics center Enes Kanter.
On Twitter, Kanter posted photos of custom shoes that had the phrase ‘Free Tibet.’ Tibet is a region currently under China’s control.
Kanter also posted a video in which he says, “Brutal dictator of China, Xi Jinping, I have a message for you and your henchmen. I will say it again and again and again, loud and clear. ‘Free Tibet.’ ‘Free Tibet.’ ‘Free Tibet.’”
This isn’t the first strain between the NBA-China relationship. In 2019, then Houston Rockets General Manager, Daryl Morey, tweeted in support of Hong Kong’s independence from China. China responded with a ban on live-streaming NBA games costing the organization millions.
This also isn’t the first time Kanter has been critical of a foreign leader. In 2017, the Turkish basketball player called Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the “Hitler of our country”.
THE BOSTON CELTICS ARE ON A BIT OF A LOSING STREAK THIS WEEK.
THE FIRST LOSS… IN DOUBLE OVERTIME TO THE NEW YORK KNICKS.
THE SECOND… A LOSS OF ALL CHINESE VIEWERSHIP, AFTER THIS VIDEO HIT TWITTER FEEDS.
Kanter: “Brutal dictator of China, Xi Jinping, I have a message for you and your henchmen… ‘Free Tibet.’ ‘Free Tibet.’ ‘Free Tibet.’”
THAT WAS CELTICS CENTER ENES KANTER…WHOSE CRITICISM OF BEIJING’S OCCUPATION OF TIBET CAME WITH SWIFT CONSEQUENCES: CHINA WIPING PAST CELTICS GAMES FROM THE INTERNET, *AND VOWING TO BAN THE LIVESTREAMS OF FUTURE GAMES.
IT ALSO CAME WITH SPECULATION ABOUT WHY KANTER WAS GIVEN ZERO PLAYING TIME AFTER POSTING THE CONTROVERSIAL TWEETS.
Kanter “I say shame on the Chinese government.”
IT’S NOT THE FIRST TIME TWITTER THREW A WRENCH INTO THE NBA-CHINA RELATIONSHIP.
IN 2019, THEN HOUSTON ROCKETS GM DARYL MOREY POSTED THIS IN SUPPORT OF HONG KONG’S INDEPENDENCE. THE TWEET COST THE NBA AN ESTIMATED 200 MILLION IN LOST REVENUE…AFTER CHINA BANNED NBA LIVESTREAMS IN RETALIATION.
WE ALL REMEMBER THIS FAMOUS LINE.
“‘SHUT UP AND DRIBBLE’”
DOES THE NBA AGREE… IF TWEETS ARE COSTING THE ORGANIZATION MILLIONS?
LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.