January 25, 2022 – During a recent discussion on Tibet and the Beijing Winter Olympics, Enes Kanter Freedom called on fellow athletes to give voice to the voiceless, saying Olympic gold medals are worth less than moral values.
Freedom, the NBA player and activist, appeared on January 21, 2022 on the International Campaign for Tibet’s “Tibet Talks” live webcast. Other guests included Wangpo Tethong, the executive director of ICT-Europe, and Dhondup Wangchen, a Tibetan filmmaker who endured torture and imprisonment for creating a documentary on Chinese repression in Tibet ahead of the Beijing Olympics. in 2008.
The Olympics will return to China for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games from February 4.
“I say to all my athlete friends: all the gold medals in the world that you can win are not more important than your morals, your values and your principles,” said Freedom. He added: “My final message is to all my fellow athletes and anyone who has a platform. I feel like we need to stand up for the innocent and be their voice. [for those] who have no voice.
Freedom – which has been outspoken in its support for Tibetans and in its criticism of the Chinese government – said it was inspired by Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
“I grew up a big fan of His Holiness [the Dalai Lama]”, Liberty said. “That’s why I said to myself, ‘I’m going to do everything I can to amplify the peace, the love and the unity that he always calls for.'”
“That’s why I was very sad to see what the Tibetans are going through. Because for me, it’s a cultural genocide, and shame on the [Chinese] Communist Party.”
Enes Kanter Freedom on the Olympics and Tibet
Freedom has made several strong statements about the upcoming Olympics and China’s brutal occupation of Tibet, which is now tied with Syria as the least free country on Earth, according to a watchdog group.
During the Tibet Talk, Freedom commented:
- Celebrities’ fear of offending China: “Unfortunately, many of my friends in the sports world, and many of my friends in the theater world, my friends who sing or rap, unfortunately they are afraid to say a word against China, because they care too much money, business and approval agreements. But for me, morals, values and principles are far more important than any type of business or any type of approval agreement. approval you can get.
- The diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics: “I think a diplomatic boycott is good, but it’s not enough. I hope all these governments and athletes will come out and say enough is enough. We need to use our voice to amplify what is happening there. I hope that all governments and all athletes can do more than just diplomatic boycotts. »
- The International Olympic Committee: “I believe that the International Olympic Committee sleeps in the same bed as China, because it is a shame that they organize important games like the Olympics in a country like China, where there are millions of violations of the human rights.”
- China and the Olympic Games: “People, athletes and governments must understand: the Chinese Communist Party does not represent the core Olympic values of excellence, respect and friendship. They form a brutal dictatorship and practice censorship. They threaten freedoms and they do not respect human rights. And as we speak right now, a genocide is happening.
- His love for Tibetans: “He’s one of the nicest people in the world. In fact, I love the food they cook for me called ‘momo’. It’s one of the tastiest foods I’ve ever had. We actually have a Tibetan cultural center in Boston, and I went there, and they made me a momo, and I actually had four boxes to take out and brought them home. Hearing all this, I thought I couldn’t stay silent. I have to stand up for these beautiful people.
- The Dalai Lama: “I remember when I was a teenager, I followed His Holiness on social media. All of his tweets, all of his Instagram posts, all of his social media really inspire me to be a better person.
Freedom made its support for Tibet known in a video it posted on social media in October 2021 in which it said that “Tibet belongs to the Tibetans. I am here to add my voice and talk about what is happening in Tibet.
Freedom appeared on Tibet Talks alongside Dhondup Wangchen, a Tibetan who was sentenced to six years in prison for creating “Leaving Fear Behind”, a documentary showing ordinary Tibetans describing the inhumanity of Chinese rule, as well as their feelings about the coming year 2008. Summer Olympics in Beijing.
“After 2008, Tibet turned into a big prison and people are suffering,” Wangchen said. Chinese President “Xi Jinping has become a kind of second Mao Zedong, and Tibetans are suffering, like other people too.”
Over the past few months, Wangchen has traveled to several European countries to meet with government officials and national Olympic committees to raise awareness about Tibet ahead of the start of the Olympics. Wangpo Tethong, executive director of the International Campaign for Tibet-Europe, assisted Wangchen in his meetings.
The International Campaign for Tibet – an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. and Europe that promotes the human rights and democratic freedoms of the Tibetan people – released an open letter calling on NBC to include Tibet in its coverage of Olympic Games.
Watch the Tibet Talk.