Enes Kanter Says Nike ‘Afraid To Speak Out’ Against China, Wears ‘Modern Day Slavery’ Shoes To Protest Uyghur Treatment – .

Enes Kanter Says Nike ‘Afraid To Speak Out’ Against China, Wears ‘Modern Day Slavery’ Shoes To Protest Uyghur Treatment – .

The Boston Celtics center, who has been outspoken about the treatment of minorities in China, wore custom shoes as their team won against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday with the words “Modern Day Slavery” and “No More Excuses” written above.

On Monday, he posted a video on Twitter in which he called on Nike for its silence on injustice in China.

“You don’t talk about police brutality in China, you don’t talk about discrimination against the LGBTQ community, you don’t say a word about the oppression of minorities in China, you are afraid to speak. “

Kanter’s criticisms have focused in particular on the injustice felt by the Uyghur community – the US State Department estimates that as many as 2 million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have been held in internment camps in Xinjiang since 2017.
In a three-hour interview with CNN, conducted in Europe where he is now in exile, a former detective turned whistleblower revealed sparse details of what he described as a systematic campaign of torture against ethnic Uyghurs in the system of detention camps in the region.

China has repeatedly denied the allegations of human rights violations, saying the centers are necessary to prevent religious extremism and terrorism.

“Who makes your shoes in China? Do you even know it? Kanter added that the shoe industry has been “tainted” by forced labor.

“There are so many forced labor factories in China. For example, Uyghur forced labor is modern day slavery, and it is happening in China right now.

“Millions of Uyghurs are currently detained, sold and assigned to work in forced labor camps, prisons and factories across the country. They are under constant surveillance, with long working hours and poor living conditions.

“Remember, every time you put these 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. ”

READ: Boston Celtics game broadcast withdrawn in China after Enes Kanter’s pro-Tibet messages

“We are concerned about reports of forced labor”

Earlier this year, Nike released a statement saying it does not source products from the Xinjiang region.

“Nike is committed to ethical and responsible manufacturing and we respect international labor standards,” the statement said.

“We are concerned about reports of forced labor in and related to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

“Nike does not source any XUAR products and we have confirmed to our contract suppliers that they do not use textiles or yarns from the region. ”

Nike was not immediately available to comment on Kanter’s latest video at CNN’s request.

Kanter ended the video by inviting Nike co-founder Phil Knight and renowned ambassadors LeBron James and Michael Jordan on a trip to China so they could “see [it] with your own eyes ”where the shoes are made.

“Nike likes to say ‘Just Do It’ – well, what do you do with the slave labor that makes your shoes? This slave labor that makes you rich, ”he added.

“Nike has to participate. Stop hypocrisy, stop modern day slavery now. ”

Last week, Kanter criticized China’s treatment of Tibet, which led Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin to say at a press briefing that the NBA player ” was trying to get attention ”and that his words“ were not worth refuting ”.

As a result, the broadcast of the Celtics’ season opener against the New York Knicks was taken down by Chinese video streaming site Tencent, while fans took to Chinese social media to speak out against Kanter and the Celtics.

It comes two years after then-Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey sparked a controversy between the NBA and China with a tweet – later deleted – in support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Morey resigned a year later.

Kanter, who grew up in Turkey, has already championed various political causes, including criticism of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

As a result, he was the subject of death threats and his father’s criminal trial in the country.


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