Following a video in which center Enes Kanter expressed support for Tibet, Celtics games have been pulled off Chinese media, according to reports.
Kanter posted the video on his social media prior to Boston’s season-opening loss to the Knicks on Oct. 20, 2021. He later wore shoes that featured the phrase “Free Tibet” during the game and shared a photo of them on Twitter.
“My message to the Chinese government is Free Tibet. Tibet belongs to Tibetans,” Kanter said while wearing a shirt with the image of the Dalai Lama.
“I’m here to add my voice and speak out about what is happening in Tibet. Under the Chinese government’s brutal rule, Tibetan people’s basic rights and freedoms are nonexistent.”
The Washington Post reports that Tencent, a Chinese company that owns the NBA’s streaming rights, cut the live broadcast of the Celtics-Knicks game. Additionally, upcoming games for the Celtics in the Tencent Sports app aren’t marked for live broadcast and will be “reported by text and photo.”
The same applies to the 76ers, whose games were pulled after Daryl Morey was hired to be the team’s president of basketball operations.
A Celtics fan account on Chinese social media site Weibo with over 600,000 followers said it would stop posting about the team as well.
“Resolutely resist any behavior that damages national harmony and the dignity of the motherland!” the account wrote, per The New York Times.
An unrestricted free agent, Kanter signed a one-year deal with the Celtics in the offseason. He did not play in the team’s season-opener.