China Pulls Celtics Games From Internet Over Enes Kanter’s Pro-Tibet Messages

Chances are the Celtics blackout in China will extend well into the future


Oct 21, 2021

Enes Kanter presumably has cost China-based Boston Celtics fans the opportunity to watch their team in action.

Chinese internet giant Tencent made recent Celtics games unavailable for replay and indicated it won’t live stream any of Boston’s upcoming games, according to The New York Times’ Raymond Zhong. Tencent blacked out Boston’s games hours after Kanter used social media to share a series of messages, in which he called China president Xi Jinping a “brutal dictator” and blasted the Chinese government’s repressive policies in Tibet.

“My message to the Chinese government is ‘free Tibet. Tibet belongs to Tibetans,” Kanter said in a video.

Tibet was an independent state between 1912 and 1951, when China annexed it. Tibetans have called for independence for decades, and China repeatedly has cracked down on protests.

Kanter’s shared pro-Tibet messages come two-plus years after then Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey caused friction between China and the NBA by sharing, then deleting, Tweets in support of the Hong Kong protests.

Morey since has left the Rockets for the Philadelphia 76ers, and Tencent, the NBA’s online partner in China, still refuses to show Sixers games.

Chances are the Celtics’ blackout in China will extend well into the future.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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