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Celtics Games No Longer Streaming In China After Enes Kanter Calls Out 'Brutal Dictator' Xi Jinping

BOSTON (CBS) -- Celtics games will no longer be streamed in China. The games were abruptly pulled online after Boston center Enes Kanter called Chinese leader Xi Jinping a "brutal dictator" on Wednesday.

Kanter made the comments in a post to his social media accounts on Wednesday, criticizing China's government for their policies in Tibet. The veteran center said that the Chinese dictatorship is "erasing Tibetan identity and culture" in his post.

"I'm here to add my voice and speak out about what is happening in Tibet. Under Chinese government's brutal rule, Tibetan people's basic rights and freedoms are non-existent. They are not allowed to study and learn their language and culture freely. They are not allowed to travel freely. They are not allowed to access information freely. The Tibetan people are not even allowed to worship freely," said Kanter. "There have been more than 5,000 political prisoners in Tibet the last 25 years. ... Did you know that simply owning a photo of the Dalai Lama in Tibet is grounds for arrest?

"I say shame on the Chinese government," Kanter added.

"I stand with my Tibetan brothers and sisters and support their calls for freedom," he continued. "Brutal dictator of China, Xi Jinping, I have a message for you and your henchmen. I will say it again and again and again, loud and clear. 'Free Tibet.' 'Free Tibet.' 'Free Tibet.'"

Kanter did not play in Wednesday night's Celtics opener in New York, but ahead of the game, he shared images of his game sneakers, which included "Free Tibet" and images of the Tibetan flag.

Celtics games were unavailable for replay on Tencent by Thursday morning, and future games will not be live streamed on the Chinese internet conglomerate that has a partnership with the NBA, via the New York Times. Philadelphia 76ers games are also not streamed on Tencent after the team hired Daryl Morey, whose 2019 "Stand with Hong Kong" Tweet while with the Houston Rockets sparked outrage in China.

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