Celtics games have been turned off in China after one player's pro-Tibet tweet
On Wednesday afternoon, Enes Kanter, a center for the Boston Celtics, traded his uniform for a t-shirt bearing an image of the Dalai Lama, and read a pro-Tibet message that has prompted Chinese broadcasters to take the Celtics off the air in China.
"My message for the Chinese government is 'Free Tibet.' Tibet belongs to Tibetans," Kanter said in the video, describing restrictions, imprisonment and "cultural genocide" he attributed to Chinese rule and calling Chinese President Xi Jinping a "brutal dictator."
"After learning all of this, I cannot stay silent. I stand with my Tibetan brothers and sisters, and I support their cause for freedom," he said.
With the video, Kanter waded into the long-running debate over the sovereignty of Tibet. Internationally, the region is recognized as part of the People's Republic of China. But Tibetans disagree; since 1959, a Tibetan "government in exile" based in India has protested what it calls an illegitimate colonial rule.
Now, all Celtics games have been removed from Tencent, the huge Chinese streaming platform that carries NBA games. Neither the NBA nor Tencent has released a public statement on the situation, nor did either immediately respond to NPR's request for comment.
Source Chinese streaming platform pulls Celtics game after pro-Tibet Enes Kanter tweet : NPR