The Boston Celtics middle, who has been outspoken in regards to the treatment of minorities in China, wore custom-made shoes in his crew’s win against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday with the phrases “Modern Day Slavery” and “No More Excuses” written on them.
On Monday, he posted a video on Twitter in which he known as out Nike for its silence on injustice in China.
“You do not address police brutality in China, you do not speak about discrimination against the LGBTQ community, you do not say a word about the oppression of minorities in China, you are scared to speak up.”
Kanter’s criticism centered notably across the injustice felt by the Uyghur group — the US State Department estimates that up to two million Uyghurs and different ethnic minorities have been detained in internment camps in Xinjiang since 2017.
China has repeatedly denied allegations of human rights abuses, saying the facilities are essential to stop non secular extremism and terrorism.
“Who makes your shoes in China? Do you even know?” Kanter added, the footwear trade was “tainted” by the enforced labor.
“There are so many forced labor factories in China. For instance, Uyghur forced labor, it is modern day slavery, and it is happening right now in China.
“Millions of Uyghurs are at the moment detained, bought and assigned to work at pressured labor camps, prisons and factories throughout the nation. They are beneath fixed surveillance, with lengthy working hours and poor residing situations.
“Don’t forget, every time you put those shoes on your feet, or you put that t-shirt on your back, there are so many tears and so much oppression and so much blood behind it all.”
‘We are involved about studies of pressured labor’
“Nike is committed to ethical and responsible manufacturing and we uphold international labor standards,” mentioned the assertion.
“We are concerned about reports of forced labor in, and connected to, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
“Nike doesn’t supply merchandise from the XUAR and we’ve confirmed with our contract suppliers that they aren’t utilizing textiles or spun yarn from the area.”
Nike was not immediately available for comment about Kanter’s latest video when asked by CNN.
Kanter ended the video by inviting Nike’s co-founder Phil Knight and high-profile ambassadors LeBron James and Michael Jordan to a trip to China so they can “see [it] with your personal eyes” where the shoes are made.
“Nike likes to say ‘Just Do It’ — effectively, what are you doing in regards to the slave labor that makes your shoes? That slave labor that makes you wealthy,” he added.
“Nike should be a participant in this. Stop the hypocrisy, cease the modern-day slavery now.”
Last week, Kanter criticized China’s treatment of Tibet which led to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin telling a news briefing that the NBA player was “making an attempt to get consideration” and that his remarks “weren’t value refuting.”
The broadcast of the Celtics’ season-opening game against the New York Knicks was pulled by Chinese video-streaming site Tencent as a result, while fans took to Chinese social media to denounce Kanter and the Celtics.
It comes two years after Daryl Morey, the then-general manager of the Houston Rockets, sparked controversy between the NBA and China with a tweet — subsequently deleted — in support of pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. Morey stepped down a year later.
Kanter, who was raised in Turkey, has been vocal before in defense of various political causes, including criticisms of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
He faced death threats and the criminal trial of his father back home as a result.