Boston Celtics basketball player Enes Kanter adds “Freedom” to his last name in celebration of obtaining his US citizenship.
The Turkish-born athlete, who speaks openly about social and human rights, will legally change his name to Enes Kanter Freedom in a ceremony on Monday, his manager Hank Fetic told reporters.
Why is Kanter a wanted man in Turkey?
The beloved Boston Celtics center who played 11 seasons in the NBA is known for his vocal attacks on international figures, inside and outside the game.
He called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the “Hitler of our century”.
Kanter said in a tweet that Turkey had issued 10 arrest warrants against him, accusing him of being part of a terrorist group in 2019.
The Turkish government revoked his passport during a visit to Romania in 2017, he said.
In July 2020, Kanter shared on social media a sample of the “thousands” of death threats he received following his comments from Erdogan.
What is his point of view on human rights?
Kanter criticized the Chinese government for its harsh treatment of the Uyghur people and called on the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Beijing next February.
Enes Kanter has repeatedly denounced Chinese attacks on human rights
The 29-year-old basketball star supports Tibet’s independence, decorating his shoes with “Free Tibet” in protest against China’s occupation of the mountainous territory. China has censored its games in return.
The basketball star also supported Taiwan and Hong Kong against Chinese aggression.
On November 18, Kanter tweeted, “Money against morals for the ‘king’,” about James Le Bron’s endorsement of the sports brand Nike which has ties to China.
After 722 games for various NBA clubs, Kanter has averaged 4.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in 11.2 seconds for the Celtics this season.
jc / aw (Reuters, AP)