‘Stop Murdering for Organs’: NBA Player Tells Beijing to End Forced Organ Harvesting

Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter on Nov. 16 slammed Beijing for its industry-scale killing of prisoners of conscience for their organs, doubling down on his social media crusade against the regime over its wide-ranging human rights abuses.

“Stop murdering for organs. It’s a crime against humanity,” the Turkish player wrote in a post that appeared on his Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Kanter’s posts include photos of a new pair of customized sneakers conveying the same message. Painted on the sneaker is a doctor clad in blue, gripping an organ that is still dripping blood. A liver, kidney, and heart are depicted on the toe of the shoe; each organ has a price tag attached. The sneaker is dotted with painted bloodstains throughout.

“Stop organ harvesting in China,” reads a slogan in bold letters painted on one side of the shoes.

Detailed reports alleging the regime has been harvesting organs from the living prisoners and selling them on the transplant market first emerged in 2006. Several whistleblowers also approached The Epoch Times the same year shedding light on the illicit practice.

In 2019, a London-based people’s tribunal confirmed the long-standing allegations after a year-long investigation. It found that Beijing had engaged in forced organ harvesting for years “on a significant scale,” and continues to do so. The main source for the organs, according to the tribunal, were practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline brutally persecuted since 1999.

Fear of economic retaliation has in part caused the medical and international community to turn a blind eye to the abuses, according to some medical experts.

Weldon Gilcrease, a gastrointestinal specialist at the University of Utah, said that when he tried to discuss the tribunal judgment with his school’s health care system, the leaders expressed reservations, fearing that if they spoke out China would stop the flow of international students to the university. “You definitely get support on an individual level, but when you try to raise that to the level of the institution, that’s where it gets deafeningly silent,” Gilcrease told The Epoch Times in September.

Corporate America has also shown reluctance in speaking out on China’s human rights. Coca-Cola, Airbnb, Procter & Gamble, and Visa—major U.S. sponsors of the 2022 Beijing Olympics—declined to say whether they would support moving the Olympics to a different location when pressed by U.S. lawmakers this July.

“As long as the governments are allowing the athletes to attend the games, we will be there to support and sponsor them,” Andrea Fairchild, senior vice president of global sponsorship strategy at Visa Inc., said at the congressional hearing.

Men walk past a poster at an NBA exhibition in Beijing, China, on Oct. 8, 2019. (Jason Lee/Reuters)

Over the past two years, NBA has twice suffered from the regime’s wrath over human rights issues.

In October 2019, a tweet by the then-general manager of the Houston Rockets supporting pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong caused the NBA to lose major Chinese sponsors. State broadcaster CCTV and internet giant Tencent, which had a five-year deal to stream NBA games, temporarily took the league’s programs off-air. Tencent quietly resumed live-streaming shortly after, but games featuring the Philadelphia 76ers, where Morey transferred to last November, has since only been broadcast through text and picture updates.

Kanter’s outspokenness on Tibet in October had triggered another round of retaliation from China. After he published a two-minute video on Twitter blasting regime’s suppression of religious freedom in the region, live-steaming for Celtics games disappeared from Tencent.

The 29-year-old has seen a marked cut to his playing time this season. Thus far, he’s played two games averaging five minutes of court time each, which some fans suspect to relate to his activism.

Kanter seems to imply that such is the case. “Keep limiting me on the court, I will expose you off the court,” he wrote on Twitter two days earlier.

Boston Celtics v Houston Rockets
Enes Kanter #13 of the Boston Celtics sneakers are seen at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, on Oct. 24, 2021. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

But his team’s head coach Ime Udoka argued that the decision to limit Kanter’s minutes is “strictly based on basketball,” pointing to Kanter’s weakness in defense.

“We’ve got a lot of guys that are qualified and want to play and they’re competitive so they’re getting antsy. You want to find them minutes but other guys are playing well,” he said, according to Boston.com.

Udoka also said Kanter’s comments are “not really a distraction.”

“I don’t have social media. I’ve heard of some things, but guys have the right to express their views. And I’ve said that from Day 1. Nothing basketball-related will be based on any of that.”

From The Epoch Times