Whoever denies that sports and politics have a relationship is obviously blind.Sports and politics have always had an intimate relationship. Even though fans deny it exists, woke fans have always known the truth.
The Knicks’ Enes Kanter is an athlete who clearly demonstrates the existence of this relationship.
In May 2017, Kanter was detained in Romania after the Turkish embassy canceled his passport. He took to Twitter to let the world know about his situation and didn’t hesitate to call out names.
Kanter, who was born in Switzerland but raised in Turkey, has been very critical of the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It escalated to the point where Turkey called him a terrorist and actually issued a warrant for his arrest. Then they targeted his family and proceeded to arrest his father. A few weeks later he was traded to the Knicks and things appeared to calm down a little.
But this past weekend Kanter alerted fans that it wasn’t all good when he revealed that he wouldn’t travel with the Knicks to play in London against the Wizards on January 17th due to safety concerns. According to the NY Post, tensions still exist between Kanter and those who support Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Kanter won’t risk his life by accompanying the team.
“I talked to the front office and decided I’m not going. The freaking lunatic, there’s a chance I can get killed out there. I talked to the front office. I’m not going. I’m going to stay here and practice. It’s pretty sad. All this stuff affects my career in basketball. I want to help my team win, but because of one lunatic guy I can’t even go there to do my job. It’s pretty sad. They got a lot of spies there. I can get killed pretty easy.”
While some reports stated the team said he wasn’t going because of a Visa issue, Kanter didn’t camouflage the situation when asked.
Kanter has stated that he will continue to fight for human rights and freedom of speech and it’s obvious that he’s still being targeted for it.
So for those of you who think it’s just a game and players should just shut up and dribble because they make millions, you should try walking in Kanter’s shoes first.