Enes Kanter continued his war against Nike on Thursday, sparing no words while ripping into LeBron James.
Kanter, who has previously accused Nike of telling a “total lie” about China’s alleged use of slave labor to produce its products, aimed this round at Nike’s biggest star.
“Money over Morals for the ‘King,’ ” the Celtics center tweeted Thursday morning. “Sad & disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice.”
The tweet included an image of several pairs of sneakers designed to question the NBA’s partnership with China.
Kanter previously criticized James’ comments following former Rockets and current 76ers general manager Daryl Morey’s public support of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. At the time, James said Morey “was either misinformed or not really educated on the situation.”
James refused to offer his own thoughts about China’s political policies, instead claiming he had to conduct more research. James, who has repeatedly pushed back against Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s direction for him to “shut up and dribble,” is often outspoken on social justice issues.
“When I speak about something, I speak about something I’m very knowledgeable about, something I’m very passionate about,” James said of Morey’s comments at the time. “I feel like with this particular situation, it was something not only I was not informed enough about, I just felt like it was something that not only myself or my teammates or my organization had enough information to even talk about it at that point in time and we still feel the same way.”
Those comments likely were the inspiration behind the second part of Kanter’s tweet.
“They really do ‘shut up & dribble’ when Big Boss says so,” Kanter added. “Did you educate yourself about the slave labor that made your shoes or is that not part of your research?”
This is not the first time Nike has been the subject of Kanter’s activism — in October, Kanter tweeted at Nike owner Phil Knight about his company’s alleged use of slave labor.
“To the owner of Nike, Phil Knight. How about I book plane tickets for us and let’s fly to China together. We can visit these SLAVE labor camps and you can see it with your own eyes,” Kanter tweeted before tagging James and Michael Jordan to offer them the trip as well.
Kanter previosuly ripped president Xi Jinping for China’s human rights abuses, including his policies regarding Tibet, which China has ruled since 1950, and has imprisoned people calling for independence. He recently told CNN that league officials begged him not to wear “Free Tibet” shoes before the Celtics’ opening game against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, but Kanter wore them anyway. Kanter, an 11-year veteran, said he doesn’t think the NBA really supports his activism.
“I don’t know how much of that is true, because if they were really supporting me, they would have put something out there,” Kanter told CNN last week. “They would have put [out] some kind of statement.”
Kanter’s activism has resulted in Celtics games being banned in China, according to the New York Times. In addition to China, Kanter has been outspoken about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which has subsequently gotten his Turkish passport revoked.