BREAKING NEWS – New York City, New York – Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter’s scathing remarks about Chinese President Xi Jinping had consequences for the organization overseas.
Kanter sent a pro-Tibet message in a Facebook video on Wednesday and during the game against the New York Knicks, he wore “Free Tibet” on his sneakers. He called Xi a “brutal dictator.”
The Celtics-Knicks game was “unavailable” to be replayed on Tencent, the Chinese streaming giant, according to the New York Times. Tencent Sports reportedly indicated it would not stream Celtics games for the foreseeable future – a move already pulled on Philadelphia 76ers games as punishment for then-Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s pro-Hong Kong support two years ago. The NBA gets approximately $200 million per season in revenue from China.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver commented on Kanter’s remarks. “I want China to know that everyone connected to the NBA, does not agree with Kanter,” he began. “I don’t view President Xi Jinping as brutal dictator, but more as a strict disciplinarian… with tactics that often results in death.”