Enes Kanter is reportedly set to make a big change as he gets ready to become a U.S. citizen.
Kanter, who has been the most outspoken NBA player on geopolitical issues concerning China’s human rights abuses, as well as Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan’s fight for freedom, will reportedly change his name.
Boston Celtics’ Enes Kanter moves against Toronto Raptors’ Isaac Bonga Oct. 22, 2021, in Boston. (AP)
According to The Athletic on Sunday, Kanter is going to legally change his name to Enes Kanter Freedom. Kanter will reportedly be his middle name and Freedom his last name.
The Boston Celtics center retweeted The Athletic report.
Kanter has been outspoken about China, railing against the government over the treatment of Uyghur Muslims and has called for the freedom of Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Kanter has won sneakers promoting his own geopolitical initiatives.
He’s also called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to abandon its plans to hold the Olympics in Beijing in February. He told “The Story” last week that even if much of the professional sports world remains uniformly silent on Chinese human rights abuses and other allegations against the Communist leadership there, “someone has to do it.”
“There’s so many athletes, so many actors, so many singers and rappers out there. They’re scared to say a word because they care too much about their money – the endorsement deals, what the teams they play for say,” the Turkish-American athlete said.
Enes Kanter during the Celtics home opener against the Toronto Raptors at TD Garden on Oct. 22, 2021, in Boston. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
“They should know one thing: It should be morals and principles over money. It shouldn’t be the opposite way. People’s life depends on this,” Kanter added, noting that young people around the world look up to athletes in all sports – and therefore the players should be careful about how they conduct themselves.
Host Martha MacCallum noted that Kanter has long been a critic of the Chinese Communist Party and its leader Xi Jinping, showing a photo of a pair of sneakers he wore during a recent game that depicted Xi as Winnie the Pooh with the caption “Xi is a control freak.”
Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter sits on the bench against the Wizards at Capital One Arena on Oct. 30, 2021, in Washington. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
“I do feel alone, yes. … So many people care too much about the business side of it. But to me, human rights are way more important than anything you offer me,” Kanter told MacCallum.
Kanter has long made waves with his public pronouncements, previously being disowned by his family in 2016 due to his support for Fethullah Gulen – a Turkish religious cleric living in exile in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
Fox News’ Charles Creitz contributed to this report.