While LeBron James spoke to reporters about the Lakers’ 130-108 loss to the Celtics, he also made it clear that he would not give any of his energy to Celtics forward Enes Kanter, who recently called the Los Angeles superstar.
âHe’s definitely not someone I would give my energy to,â James said. “He’s trying to use my name to create an opportunity for himself.”
On Thursday, Kanter wrote in a Tweeter, sharing that James was built on “money over morals.”
âSad and disgusting how these athletes claim to care about social justice,â Kanter tweeted. “They shut up and really drool when Big Boss says so. Did you find out about the slave labor that made your shoes or isn’t that part of your research?”
During the pre-game warm-ups, as James took shots inside the TD Garden on Friday night, Kanter walked past him on the pitch. Kanter wore the shoes representing James in Friday’s game. James told reporters Kanter should approach him directly.
âHe’s always had a word or two to say in my direction, and as a man, if you have a problem with someone, you really go to him,â James said. “He [Kanter] saw me in the hallway tonight and he walked right past me. “
Kanter has been very outspoken against Nike co-founder Phil Knight and the company’s alleged forced labor links to China.
âNike remains vocal about injustice here in America, but when it comes to China, Nike remains silent,â Kanter said, in an article with the hashtags #HypocriteNike and #EndUyghurForcedLabor.
“You don’t talk about police brutality in China, you don’t talk about discrimination against the LGBTQ community, you don’t say a word about the oppression of minorities in China, you are afraid to speak up.”
Kanter wore custom shoes with the words “Modern Day Slavery” and “No More Excuses” written on them during the Celtics’ Oct. 25 overtime win over the Hornets.
Then, a day later, the 29-year-old called Knight saying he could come and witness the injustices with his “own eyes” while also tagging the Instagram handles of Nike endorsers James and Michael Jordan in saying “you guys are welcome to come too.”
The US State Department has estimated that more than two million members of the Uyghur community and other ethnic minorities have been held in internment camps in Xinjiang since 2017, according to CNN.
Although Nike did not respond to Kanter’s most recent comments in October, the company said in March that it did not “source products from the [Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region] and that it had “confirmed with its contractual suppliers that they do not use textiles or yarns from the region”.
The company also added to its previous statement that “Nike is committed to ethical and responsible manufacturing and we adhere to international labor standards. We are concerned about reports of forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and related to this one “.
Kanter played 16 minutes in the Celtics’ win on Friday, registering five points, seven rebounds and one assist.
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