Boston Celtics center and outspoken Beijing critic Enes Kanter Freedom recently was asked to visit China by NBA legend Yao Ming, but Kanter Freedom’s response to the invitation virtually guarantees he won’t be getting into the country anytime soon.
Kanter Freedom, a political activist from Turkey who has been in the NBA since 2011, gained the attention of Chinese authorities by his criticism of the communist regime and its refusal to allow any investigation on major human rights abuse accusations.
According to French government-owned France 24, Yao initially extended the invitation after Kanter Freedom urged athletes to boycott the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics.
Yao, who played in the NBA from 2002-2011, is China’s most famous basketball player and one of its Olympic bid ambassadors.
The Chinese government is quick in its attempts to stamp out criticism amid the Games, which can be a source of great prestige. Unfortunately for the communist overlords there, early photos from the Beijing-area Olympics ski course are erasing any prestige before it can grow.
And of course, Kanter Freedom’s unexpected reply to Yao isn’t improving the situation.
“I want to say ‘thank you’ for your kind offer,” Kanter Freedom said in a Wednesday video, “and yes, I accept your invite! I would like to come to China this summer and see everything with my own eyes.”
This NBA player doesn’t want the government-approved tour, however, and lists places that are sure to get him banned from China for life.
“But on this trip,” Kanter Freedom continued, “will we be able to visit the Uyghur slave labor camps? Or visit the innocent women being tortured, raped and abused? Will we get to see how the regime destroys bodies after harvesting their organs so there is no evidence, or will you show me propaganda only?”
Not done after only calling out Yao on China’s treatment of the Uyghur people, he shifted gears and named another destination.
“While we are in China,” Kanter Freedom asked, “can we swing by Tibet? Can we see what the regime is doing to these beautiful people?”
Kanter Freedom brought up accusations that the Chinese regime is erasing Tibetan culture, history and religion.
“On this trip,” he said, “can we please visit Hong Kong together? Hong Kong used to be one of the freest cities in the world, yet now the destruction of free press, crackdowns on rights, and more arrests are happening each and every day.”
If this itinerary wouldn’t be enough to guarantee Kanter Freedom’s immediate detention upon entering China, there’s one more place he wants to go with Yao.
“On this trip,” Kanter Freedom finally asked, “can we please visit Taiwan together? … Let’s look at the happy faces of the Taiwanese people as you tell them how the regime you support wants to kill them if they do not want to be a part of China.”
Kanter Freedom’s full video can be seen below.
I heard that you are inviting me to China this summer.
Ok, I accept your invite,
I will be coming to China this summer,
But on this trip, pic.twitter.com/Q6qufuhDPL
— Enes Kanter FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) January 19, 2022
Yao was tough on the basketball court, but there’s little doubt he was handled like a rookie by this decidedly less famous NBA player who left him with little room to wriggle out of the situation.
“Please let me know,” Kanter Freedom told Yao in closing, “and I will buy my own ticket, and I will be there with the first flight to China this summer. Thank you.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.