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NBA’er Enes Freedom says LeBron ‘bows to China,’ shoes made by ‘slave kids’

Lebron James, USA Olympic Men's Basketball player, listens to the national anthem prior to the start of the USA versus Dominican Republic exhibition game, July 12, 2012. (DVIDS)
February 09, 2023

Outspoken former NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom recently slammed Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James for his defense of China just as the NBA legend made history with the most points ever scored in a career.

Freedom, who hasn’t been with an NBA team since last year, took to Twitter for scathing criticism of James’ friendliness to China shortly after James broke the nearly 40-year-old career points record Tuesday night.

In a tweet at midnight, Freedom said James had “38,388 points,” “0 Morals,” “0 Values,” “0 Principles,” “0 Empathy,” and “1 Bow Down to #China.”

“Congratulations to @KingJames,” he added.

Freedom elaborated in the morning, writing: “People get mad when I speak the truth because I’m the only athlete who actually speaks the truth. I don’t care about your endorsement deals or your dirty money.”

“You can NOT buy me #CCP! Don’t expect me to respect you or your game when your shoes are literally made by SLAVE KIDS.”

Freedom has gained notoriety over recent years for speaking out on Chinese human rights issues amid increasing scrutiny of the league’s Chinese ties. He has criticized fellow players for inking deals with Chinese companies linked to forced labor, and during games has worn sneakers with slogans like “No Beijing 2022” and “Modern Day Slavery.”

READ MORE: Former NBA player fined for not looking at Chinese flag during anthem in China

James has a lifetime contract with Nike, which has long faced criticism over the conditions in Chinese factories in its supply chain.

Freedom previously knocked James for that connection, saying, “Did you educate yourself about the slave labor that made your shoes or is that not part of your research?”

James had said in 2019 that then-Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey was not “educated on the situation” after Morey tweeted in support of the Hong Kong protests against China.