Boston Celtics' Brad Stevens Responds To Enes Kanter Freedom

Source: Abbie Parr / Getty

NBA free agent Enes Kanter Freedom has been using his activism energy to call out the likes of LeBron James and Jeremy Lin, specifically when it comes to China’s treatment of Uyghurs accusing his fellow pro-hoopers of siding with the communist nation.

Now, Freedom is taking another swipe at his former team, the Boston Celtics calling them hypocrites for their support of Ukraine. The country is currently fending off Russia after being unjustly invaded. “Hypocrites!,” Freedom begins in a tweet. “I see @Celtics coaching staff wearing Urkanian flag pins, which I support. What about Syria, Afghanistan, Uyghurs, Hong Kong, Tibet, Taiwan. Why is it okay to speak up about human rights violations there but not in other countries? Is there not much profit from Russia?”

Freedom specifically pointed to the time he wore custom sneakers showing support for Taiwan while he was playing for the Celtics but states the team did not support that choice.

How is it fair when I wore shoes to bring awareness about Human Rights violations around the world @Celtics begged me to remove them and threatened to ban me, #Celtics now wear Ukrainian flag pins,” he wrote in a follow-up tweet.

Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens spoke with Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald about the matter and he had a different view of what went down with Freedom’s sneakers, saying it was more of a possible dress code violation and nothing more.

Per the Boston Herald:

Here’s exactly what happened. I was actually at home, and when he decided to wear the sneakers, there was some concern – and I didn’t even know until the end of the first quarter — that there was a potential uniform or dress code violation. I don’t know what was said – I can’t imagine that phrasing was said — but the question to me was what to do about Enes’ shoes.

I said I think that he’s fine, and let me double-check with the NBA to see if there’s any uniform violation. Double-checked, fine, and he wore those the rest of the game, and he wore whatever he wanted the rest of the year. It’s interesting because I feel really good that we truly sat here and supported him and his right to express himself and his Freedom of speech, and I even told him the next day that you know I’ve always done that.

Strevens double-downed oh his support for Freedom but wanted to be notified ahead of time when it comes to Freedom’s choice of footwear so he wouldn’t be “checking on these things in the middle of the first quarter from my couch at home.” He also insisted that the decision to move Freedom was a basketball decision and had nothing to do with his activism and political stances.

Freedom is currently a free agent after being released by the Houston Rockets that sent Daniel Theis back to the Celtics. If you ask many on the right, they believe Kanter is being blackballed by the league giving him plenty of free time to make appearances on right-wing propaganda machine FOX News.

Honestly, taking swipes a LeBron James and saying Michael Jordan hasn’t done anything for the Black community isn’t gonna help you land on an NBA team either.

Photo: Abbie Parr / Getty