A Chinese state-run media outlet published an opinion piece on Monday asking if former NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom is actually a CIA asset.
The article, written by Global Times deputy director of New Media Gao Lei, speculated that former Celtics player, Enes Kanter Freedom, might actually be a CIA spy based on his outspoken comments on China, as well as his recent meeting with CIA Director William Burns.
In an April 30 tweet, Kanter noted that he’d had a “great conversation” with Burns and thanked him for his “friendship.”
Had a great conversation with the
Director of @CIA William J. Burns
Thank you for your friendship pic.twitter.com/qGGHympg4o
— Enes FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) April 30, 2022
“A recent post by Kanter on his social media account might explain why he cares more about attacking China than playing basketball,” Gao wrote in the Global Times opinion piece, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation translation. “When Kanter said he’d had a ‘great conversation’ with the U.S. government spy chief and thanked Burns for his ‘friendship,’ was Kanter behaving as a basketball player or a spy who has been recruited by the CIA?”
“[This begs the question] whether or not [Kanter] is already spying on other athletes for the CIA,” Gao wrote.
The Global Times piece also labeled Kanter a “freak,” in part, for his focus on supporting the “Xinjiang independence” movement.
Kanter characterized General Secretary Xi Jinping as a “heartless dictator” in an October 2021 tweet which also described the human rights abuses inflicted upon Uyghurs by China as “genocide.”
Heartless Dictator of China,
XI JINPING and the Communist Party of China.
I am calling you out in front of the whole world.
Close down the SLAVE labor camps and free the UYGHUR people!
— Enes FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) October 22, 2021
The Global Times article also criticized Kanter for siding with “right-wing populist American conservatives” in questioning the Black Lives Matter movement, and included a screenshot from a piece by The Oregonian spotlighting Kanter’s appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight in November 2021.
“People should feel really blessed and lucky to be in America because they love to criticize it, but when you live in a country like Turkey or China or somewhere else, you will appreciate the freedoms you have here,” Kanter told Carlson on his show. “They should please keep their mouths shut and stop criticizing the greatest nation in the world and they should focus on, you know, their freedoms and their human rights and their democracy.”
Kanter was traded to the Houston Rockets and then waived from that team in February, the Daily Caller reported.
The Global Times did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment, while Freedom didn’t respond in time for publication.
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