NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom bashes Jeremy Lin over China contract

NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom took to social media on Sunday to urge Jeremy Lin (???) to stand with Taiwan and stop taking "dirty Chinese Communist Party money."

"Haven't you had enough of that Dirty Chinese Communist Party money feeding you to stay silent?" Freedom wrote on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The 29-year-old Boston Celtics center, who took a new surname when he became an American citizen on Nov. 29, urged Lin: "Stand with Taiwan! Stop bowing to money & the Dictatorship."

Lin, an American citizen of Taiwanese descent who also obtained a Republic of China (Taiwan) passport in 2020, has not responded to Freedom's criticism, but what he is doing is not uncommon.

He is one of several foreign players, including a handful of players from Taiwan, who are on Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) rosters.

For Taiwanese players, it is an opportunity to play at a higher level of competition and a higher salary than what they could make in Taiwan, and for Lin a chance to keep his career going.

Lin signed a contract on Nov. 30 to return to the CBA Beijing Ducks after leading the team to the playoffs during the 2019-2020 season.

He then played in the NBA's G League last season, hoping for another shot with an NBA team that never came. He will likely start playing for the Ducks after the CBA season resumes in late December.

Lin rose to fame in 2012 with the New York Knicks when he became the first American of Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA and inspired the "Linsanity" craze.

The relationship between sports and China has been an especially thorny issue since Peng Shuai (??), the former doubles world No. 1, disappeared from public view for three weeks after alleging on social media in early November that a top Chinese official sexually assaulted her.

Photos and videos of Peng have appeared in Chinese state media since then, and the International Olympic Committee has held two video calls with Peng to give the impression she was not being pressured by Beijing.

But the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) still decided to suspend its tournaments in China over its treatment of Peng, voicing skepticism that the tennis player was free and saying that her situation remained "acceptable."

Unlike the WTA, the men's tour, the ATP, has not suspended its China events, and the Winter Olympics, scheduled for Feb. 4-20, 2022, look set to go ahead despite an expected diplomatic boycott by the United States.

Freedom, who has been outspoken in recent years against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom he considers a dictator, has recently begun to criticize the Chinese government and its human rights abuses against Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Hong Kongers.

In mid-November, he took on NBA superstar LeBron James on the China issue for putting "money over morals," but James replied that Freedom was "definitely not someone I would give my energy to."

As Jemele Hill noted in an article in the Atlantic, Freedom has also been delivering mixed messages.

When asked on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" if he was more grateful for his U.S. citizenship than some of his teammates, Freedom said they should feel blessed and "should just keep their mouth shut and stop criticizing the greatest nation in the world," and focus on their freedoms, human rights and democracy, according to Hill.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel