NBA star Enes Kanter Freedom has reportedly opted out of an appearance at a conservative conference just after being confirmed as a guest speaker.
The 29-year-old professional basketball player had played for the Boston Celtics and was traded then waived by the Houston Rockets just days ago in what many are seeing as a questionable coincidence given his outspoken criticism of China.
The Swiss-born, Turkish American changed his name, adding Freedom, in celebration of becoming a U.S. citizen in November 2021.
Freedom was confirmed as a speaker at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) just last week as Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, tweeted out.
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) February 7, 2022
But it is now being reported that the former Celtics center has decided to drop out of the planned appearance so he can “figure out NBA stuff.”
Washington Post reporter David Weigel quoted Freedom in a tweet on Tuesday saying he would not be going to CPAC 2022.
“I need to figure out this NBA stuff first,” Freedom was quoted as saying. “So I won’t be going to CPAC now.”
Enes Freedom tells me that he’s not going to speak at CPAC, as previously announced.
“I need to figure out this NBA stuff first,” he says. “So I won’t be going to CPAC now.”
— David Weigel (@daveweigel) February 15, 2022
Just over a week ago, Freedom had tweeted: “I do NOT care about politics.
The only thing I care about is Human rights, Freedom and being the voice for the voiceless.”
The world needs to understand!
I do NOT care about politics.
The only thing I care about is Human rights, Freedom and being the voice for the voiceless.
The question people should ask themselves is;
Despite our differences, what can we do to make this world better, TOGETHER?
— Enes FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) February 7, 2022
Freedom has been an outspoken critic of China and famously called out NBA legend LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers for not speaking out about the communist nation’s human rights abuses.
Many have been supportive of Freedom’s brave stance and have called out the NBA for caving.
Showing the limits, or borders, of the NBA’s idea of “social justice.” They are quick to kneel in worship of a mountain of Chinese cash and punish @EnesFreedom for speaking out against the CCP’s genocide and repression. https://t.co/s5Y1Xnsb6f
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) February 14, 2022
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