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LIFE SITE: Pro-life filmmaker ousted from NBA game for protesting China’s abuse of Uyghurs

The below article was published by Life Site, photo credit: Jason Jones

Human rights activist and pro-life film producer Jason Jones told LifeSiteNews that he was inspired by an NBA player’s protest human rights abuses against Uyghurs by China.

In an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews, human rights activist and pro-life film producer Jason Jones, who was among Monday’s demonstrators, said he was inspired by NBA player Enes Kanter’s protest of Uyghur human rights abuses by China. Kanter expresses his opposition through shoe-inscribed messages such as “Free Uyghur,” “Free China,” and “Stop Genocide, Torture, Rape, Slave Labor,” a reference to the different kinds of atrocities committed by Chinese government recruits against Uyghurs in slave labor camps. 

Kanter plays for the Boston Celtics, so “China’s response to this was to ban the Celtics from China,” said Jones. “So that gave me a great idea: let’s just troll China and NBA stadiums across the country with huge banners that say ‘Free the Uyghur,’ forcing them to cut the broadcast.” 

The American Spectator noted that “broadcasts of the Boston Celtics game have been scrubbed from Chinese channels” because of Kanter’s messaging in support of targeted minorities in China. “Live feeds are cut and ticketholders are ejected for showing any apparel or messaging that could insult the Chinese Communist Party,” the Spectator reported. 

Jones said that the news outlet has also reported that Kanter’s messaging and Jones’ organized peaceful protests “have cost the NBA $200 million already” because of canceled broadcasts. 

“That’s exactly our goal. Our goal is to inspire — and I want to give Enes Kanter all the credit — we want folks to wear ‘Free the Uyghur’ shirts, ‘Free Hong Kong’ shirts, ‘Free Tibet’ shirts, and carry banners, forcing China to cut the broadcasts and then to bring attention in China and around the world to the plight of the Uyghurs,” said Jones. 

Jones told LifeSiteNews that his organization brought Tibetans and Uyghur activists to the “nosebleed” section of Monday’s game protest “with huge banners and flags so people all over the stadium could see” their “Free Uyghur” sign and flags of the Uyghur homeland East Turkestan. They also brought a group positioned in the VIP section on the floor to hold up another large “Free Uyghur” sign. 

“And of course then the police and the security asked us to leave,” Jones said. This was despite the fact that the protestors were not causing a disturbance, but merely holding signs for a cause, as many NBA game-goers have for years. 

He later added that “what’s exciting” is that “the fans are always on our side, 100% percent.” He gave the example of a man selling Budweiser beer at Monday’s game, who exclaimed as they were being thrown out, “Why are you kicking them out, for telling the truth?” 

Salih Hudayar, the current prime minister of East Turkestan in Exile, was among those kicked out of the arena. Hudayar called their removal an “attempt by the NBA to appease China.”  

ones criticized the double-speak of the NBA, saying “The NBA said they want to encourage people to express their views, but it seems like so long as those views don’t upset China. 10% of the NBA’s income comes from China. And it’s growing.” 

Jones is especially inspired to start a movement to “fill” the stadiums with “Free the Uyghur” signs because of its practical impact, and its potential for a massive ripple effect. 

“We can force Nike, and China, and Apple, and Coca Cola, and Costco, and all these other companies that have benefited from Uyghur forced labor, to break their ties with China. We can do this, but it’s up to the fans. It’s up to us as consumers,” Jones told LifeSiteNews. 

“At a crime scene they run a blue light to see where the blood is left. I tell people all of our homes have become crime scenes. If we were to run a blue light through our homes, we would see the blood of the Uyghur on our shoes, on our clothes, on our electronics,” he continued.  

“All of us really are culpable. We have all benefited from Uygur forced labor. And once we know, we really have to speak up. If we don’t as fans stand with Enes Kanter, [he] will be canceled.” 

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