Enes Kanter Freedom has been on quite the spree lately, and he hasn’t shied away from calling out the biggest names in basketball - Michael Jordan and LeBron James. However, the latest tirade against Michael Jordan did not sit well with Shaquille O’Neal, and he gave a piece of his mind to Freedom.
Enes Kanter Freedom against the world
Kanter’s been vocal in his stand on social issues, some of which have gotten support from Gregg Popovich, while others have earned the ire of his fellow players. As someone who had not returned to his country due to legitimate safety concerns, Enes knows what he is talking about. He has attacked Nike for forced slavery, LeBron James for his hesitation to be more active in vaccination campaigns, and Michael Jordan for his lack of contribution to the Black community. The Boston Celtics center called out MJ and claimed the Chicago Bulls legend needed to do more than focus on selling his shoes.
“Michael Jordan has not done anything for the Black community because he cares too much about his shoe sales all over the world and America, and I feel like we need to call out these athletes and not be scared about who they are.”
Enes Kanter Freedom, CNN
This rant prompted Shaq to fire back on his The Big podcast. O’Neal is obviously a lot more protective of MJ than he is of LeBron.
"I understand your beef with LeBron, but don't be talking about what Mike does for the black community. I don't know his name, I'm not memorizing his name, I don't give a sh*t what he change his name to."
Shaquille O'Neal, The Big Podcast
MJ’s contribution to the Black community
It’s easy to say MJ is not supportive enough towards the social issues that the Black community has faced in recent years because he chose to do his own thing away from the spotlight or social media, but Jordan has done his part.
He may not be like LeBron James, who actively supported the Black Lives Matter movement, but when he was with Nike, MJ made sure the majority of the executives at Jordan brand were black, according to Scoop Jackson.
In 2020, the former UNC star donated $100 million to support various Black community organizations that focus on social justice, economic justice, and education and awareness. Mike has also donated millions for hurricane relief and health clinics in the past. Saying that the Hornets CEO has not done enough is not true: Jordan helped, but he did it his own way and with much less PR.
Kanter is fighting for a good cause, but he needs to do his homework.