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Enes Kanter changes his name

Boston Celtics' Turkish center will add the word 'Freedom' to his surname. On Monday, he will be granted American citizenship due to problems in his homeland.

Enes Kanter changes his name
Kevin C. CoxAFP

Enes Kanter is no longer just Enes Kanter. The Turkish center, who has made the headlines more for his declarations than his displays out on court in recent times, has decided to change his name. He has done so just one day before he will officially became a US citizen. From now, he will be known as Enes Kanter Freedom.

Freedom will be his first surname and his old one, Kanter will be part of his new name. It is something which Enes has been thinking about for some time and now he has done it - according toi journalist Shams Charania. The 29-year-old is in his second spell with the Boston Celtics, after playing for them in 2019-20. So far this season, he has made nine appearances (none in the starting line-up) in which he has averaged 11.2 minutes on court. It is the least playing time he has had since he came to the NBA.

That hasn't stopped him from gaining notoriety in the newspapers - although for other reasons unrelated to sport. He became a social activist a few years ago, campaigning in favour of human rights, starting with his own country. He has been severely critical of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government, at one point describing the Turkish president as "The Hitler of our century". Erdogan's government tried to arrest him in 2019, accusing him of belonging to a terrorist organization. In July 2020, Kanter took to social media to share some of the "hundreds" of death threats he receives on a daily basis.

Pop at China and LeBron James

More recently, he took aim at China's government for "violating human rights" and asked the International Olympic Committee to recolate the 2022 Winter Olympics due to be held in Beijing to another host city outside of China. He didn't stop there, he also got embroiled in a row with sportswear manufacturers Nike for their business links with China and with LeBron James as one of the most recognisible faces of the brand. "Money over morals for the king," he tweeted on 18 November.


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