China-NBA conflict: Basketball player Enes Kanter spoke out on Tibet. A familiar Chinese backlash followed

Enes Kanter, center for the Boston Celtics, posted a video on social media on Wednesday calling Chinese President Xi Jinping a “brutal dictator” over China’s treatment of Tibet.

“My message to the Chinese government is ‘free Tibet,'” Kanter said. “Under the Chinese government’s brutal rule, Tibetan people’s basic rights and freedoms are non-existent.”

Later that day, when the Celtics took to the court in their season-opening game against the New York Knicks, Kanter wore shoes with the message “Free Tibet” emblazoned on them.
To say this didn’t go down well in China is an understatement. Tibet is an internationally recognized region within the People’s Republic of China, though many Tibetans dispute the legitimacy of Beijing’s governance. The spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, has been living in exile since a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959; since then, Beijing’s…

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