NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom has continued to be a vocal image for the injustices faced around the world. The third overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft has spent the better part of his career supporting human rights while dominating on the court. Since the start of the season, Freedom has been more aggressive in his pursuit of equality and wellness. Starting with changing his name from Enes Kanter to Enes Kanter Freedom, the Boston center officially became a US citizen this past Monday. Enes added Freedom to show his passion and love for America.
For the past two months, Freedom has taken shots at LeBron James for his previous 2020 comments about China. Undisclosed to many, China remains one of the NBA’s biggest international markets. Like much of the western world, China influences a lot of the finical markets in terms of sports, films, and music. When speaking out against a market like China, it tends to draw some major setbacks. While LeBron James hasn’t much of anything about overseas injustices lately, Enes Kanter has continued his campaign on and off the court.
Despite his limited minutes and slow start, Freedom has taken every opportunity to focus on issues around the world. The center has spoken out against Nike and its practices with unfair wages and sweatshops. In protest, Freedom has worn shoes with graphics and meaningful messages hoping to raise awareness. His protest has sparked various backlash from various other countries.
Back in 2017, the NBA star has said his Turkish passport was revoked by authorities. Just a few months ago, Chinese broadcaster and NBA partner Tencent has blocked Boston Celtics games after comments from Celtics center Enes Kanter after calling Chinese President Xi Jinping a “dictator.”
Enes Kanter Freedom recently went on Tucker Carlson’s show to further speak out about his issues. When asked if he would sit and talk with LeBron James, Freedom spoke about the opportunity to educate the future Hall of Famer.
“Sure, I’d love to sit down and talk to him,” Freedom said Tuesday. “I’m sure it’s going to be a very uncomfortable conversation for him. I don’t know if he’s gonna want that. I’ll make that really comfortable for him.
“I don’t know if he’s educated enough, but I’m here to educate him and I’m here to help him because it’s not about money. It’s about morals, principles, and values. It’s about what you stand for. There are way bigger things than money. If LeBron stopped making money now, his grandkids and grandkids and grandkids can have the best life ever.
“I feel like it’s definitely time for athletes to stand up for the things they believe in … not just in America … but all over the world.”
What Freedom said next about his new country, America may have landed him in hot water. During the show, Tucker and Enes spoke about the criticism America faces from its own citizens.
“People should feel really blessed to be in America. They love to criticize it but when you live in a country like Turkey or China, you appreciate the freedoms you have here. I feel like they should just keep their mouth shut and stop criticizing the greatest nation in the world and they should focus on their freedoms and their human rights and democracy,” Enes Kanter Freedom said to Tucker Carlson.
NBA players changing their names for human rights isn’t anything new. Enes Kanter Freedom follows NBA stars including Lloyd Bernard Free (World B. Free) and Ron Artest (Metta World Peace) who have legally changed their name.