Enes Kanter Follows Metta World Peace, Changes Name To Enes Kanter Freedom | Becomes Citizen Monday

Photo: YouTube Screenshot/@eneskanter

Enes Kanter has been the NBA’s recent most outspoken human rights advocate. Now the Boston Celtics center is taking it up a notch and changing his name to represent his purpose.

According to reports, he will officially change his name to Enes Kanter Freedom as part of his citizenship, which becomes official on Monday.

The Athletic and Stadium reported Kanter will become his middle name, while Freedom will be his last name.

Metta World Peace

The move is similar to that of the basketball player formerly known as Ron Artest who changed his name to Metta World Peace. The former Queens basketball star made the change in 2011.

Kanter has become a very vocal activist aiming at international human rights issues. Most recently, he has been critical of Nike for its labor practices in China and the company’s perceived inaction.

Everyone Can Get It

He has also targeted LeBron James, a Nike shoe sponsored athlete, designing custom statements on his sneakers to call out James and China’s President Xi Jinping over the treatment of minorities in the Asian country.

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“There are so many forced labor factories in China. For instance, Uyghur forced labor, it is modern-day slavery, and it is happening right now in China,” said Kanter in a recent CNN interview.

“Millions of Uyghurs are currently detained, sold, and assigned to work at forced labor camps, prisons and factories across the country. They are under constant surveillance, with long working hours and poor living conditions.

“Don’t forget, every time you put those shoes on your feet, or you put that T-shirt on your back, there are so many tears and so much oppression and so much blood behind it all.”

Turkish “Freedom”

Kanter is Turkish and has been unabashed about his thoughts on human rights abuses in his home country.

Born in Switzerland to Turkish parents and raised in Turkey, Kanter’s outspokenness about the country has made him a virtual exile of his family’s native land.

His passport was revoked by the Turkish governemnt in 2017. Additionally, they have accused him of being a terrorist and his family of terrorism. As a result, Kanter cannot go back to Turkey without repercussions and he has not attempted to go back in years.

He has also been unable to spoke to many of his family that still live in Turkey as a result, according to reports. NBA games that Kanter appear in have also been censored in Turkey and now also China.

China Is Not Feeling Enes

The NBA’s Chinese media partner Tencent also erased all Celtics games from its streaming platforms. The actions came after Kanter wore “Free Tibet” sneakers at the team’s 2021 season opener against the New York Knicks.

Kanter tweeted photos of the sneakers and wrote the caption that read:

“XI JINPING and the Chinese Communist Party Someone has to teach you a lesson, I will NEVER apologize for speaking the truth. You can NOT buy me. You can NOT scare me. You can NOT silence me. Bring it on!!”

“Freedom’s Crusade”

Additionally, Kanter has had to forego international team trips because of the threat of arrest abroad.

Enes Kanter’s movement has largely existed in a vacuum. The name change places the emphasis even stronger as it will be how he will officially be called during games, interviews and mentions.

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Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.