Enes Kanter Calls for Olympics to be Moved from China ‘For Peng Shuai’s Sake’

Shuai Peng of China hits a backhand return against Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia during the Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 26, 2011 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter has called for the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to move the Olympics out of China for “the sake” of missing Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai.

Kanter published an op-ed at the Wall Street Journal Sunday saying, “All the gold medals in the world aren’t worth selling your morals.”

Kanter also posted a tweet demanding that the world “It’s time for us to WAKE UP and SPEAK UP!”

In his op-ed, Kanter said that western athletes should use their platforms to “lend a voice to those being silenced.” And the international community of athletes, Kanter insists, should use that power to force China to definitively say that Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai is safe from retaliation from the communist regime after she accused a high government official of raping her.

Kanter went on to take a slap at NBA star LeBron James for prioritizing money over morals.

“We must also stop giving priority to money over morals. Claiming we are ‘misinformed’ or ‘not really educated’ should no longer be an excuse,” he wrote. “Take initiative. Reach out to activists and communities. Try to learn about the Chinese government’s abuses. We can all be better allies, and stand in solidarity.”

Kanter was referring to LeBron James and his scolding of former Houston Rockets manager Daryl Morey for supporting the democracy activists n Chinese-controlled Hong Kong.

The 29-year-old player added that the world “must take a firm stance against the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics” and praised the Women’s Tennis Association for raising its concerns about Shuai. Kanter added that the IOC has “shockingly echoed Chinese state media’s rhetoric about her case.”

“This comes as no surprise, as the IOC has ignored Beijing’s abuses for years. As athletes concerned about human rights and justice, we must pressure the IOC to move the games. All the gold medals in the world aren’t worth selling your values and your principles to the Chinese Communist Party,” Kanter said.

Indeed, many are claiming that the case of Peng Shuai is solved since the Chinese government recently leaked a video of her at a restaurant. Still, the videos seem staged, and there is no evidence that the tennis player has freedom of movement or speech. Moreover, there is certainly no evidence that Shuai wasn’t coerced into making the videos.

Kanter ended his op-ed with a plea: “Wake up and speak up. Change is coming, and no one can stop it. They can’t silence us all.”

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