NBA Terminates Relations with NBA Turkey Vendor in Support of Kanter
Without going into too much detail, Portland Trail Blazers big man Enes Kanter has spoken out against his native Turkey for human rights abuses and criticizing Turkey’s leader Erdogan. As a result, he is a wanted man in Turkey who’s Turkish citizenship and passport are no longer valid and thus he can’t leave the United States for fear of not being able to return.
Most recently, it has been pointed out on social media by Kanter that fans in Turkey are not able to watch his games and the both Kanter and the Blazers are being censored. Kanter took to social media to voice his frustration and call on the NBA to react.
What a messed up country lead by #TurkishDictator @RTErdogan
Only Turkish player out here tonight, and the official @NBA for Turkey @NBAturkiye is censoring me. They dont show blazers games in Turkey. The government controls people,this a problem. How can official NBA allow this pic.twitter.com/Zvny0NwF8C
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) May 2, 2019
React they did, as the NBA has officially terminated their relationship with the third party vendor who was managing the NBA Turkey Twitter account. NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum said that “fans in Turkey can watch all playoff games featuring Enes Kanter and the Portland Trail Blazers on NBA League Pass and NBA TV Interantional. The NBA Turkey Twitter account was managed by a local vendor and we are terminating that relationship.”
I can’t thank @NBA enough for making the right move by terminating their local Turkish PR person who censored me during playoffs on the @NBATurkiye account
Thank you @NBA and @TheNBPA for standing up for Human Rights, Democracy and stand against the dictatorship#DictatorErdogan https://t.co/yvJETLhfAG
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) May 3, 2019
It seems to be the right move by the NBA as no players or teams should ever be censored. Also kudos to Kanter for continuing to speak up and be the voice of change.