Human rights activist Enes Kanter Freedom has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, but is out of the NBA after a suspicious trade.
“I’m honored and humbled to received [sic] the nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize,” Kanter tweeted in response to a piece in The Atlantic, which noted that a member of the Norwegian Parliament nominated him for the award.
“Sometimes taking a stand is more important than your next paycheck,” he wrote.
Kanter was traded from the Boston Celtics to the Houston Rockets last week, but was immediately waived and hasn’t been selected by any other team.
The move is unsurprising to Kanter, who had been a thorn in the league’s side over his vocal criticism of the communist regime. In an interview last week, he predicted that he’d be out of the NBA “soon.”
"They're going to do everything they can to, I believe, not sign me now."
— Firing Line with Margaret Hoover (@FiringLineShow) February 10, 2022
Kanter said the league “for sure” wanted him silenced after calling out superstar LeBron James for refusing to acknowledge the labor abuses at the Chinese factories producing his shoe lines, and blasting Golden State Warriors co-owner Chamath Palihapitiya for his dismissive comments about the Uyghur genocide.
“They’re going to do everything they can to, I believe, not sign me now,” he told PBS’s Margaret Hoover. A day later he was proven right.
The Celtics, who were blacklisted on Chinese streaming services after Kanter called on the country to “Free Tibet” in October, traded him to the Houston Rockets, who caused waves with the CCP in 2019, when their former general manager tweeted “stand with Hong Kong.”
Kanter didn’t even make it on the court before the Rockets cut him, and had been making fewer appearances in Celtics games lately, despite decent statistics.
It has been speculated that his anti-China rhetoric, rather than performance, was behind the reduced playing time. Now that he’s been waived, the theory appears to be true.