Enes Kanter: Turkish NBA star changes name to ‘Freedom’ to celebrate US citizenship

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Anes Kanter, a basketball player and outspoken human rights activist, changed her name to “Annes Kanter Freedom” to assume United States citizenship.

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The Swiss-born and raised in Turkey, the Boston Celtics player shared a video of his swearing-in ceremony on Monday. After taking his oath, he waved a miniature American flag and said, “Freedom, that is,” signing the Naturalization Document.

The 29-year-old wrote on Twitter, “Proud to be an American. The biggest country in the world. Land of the free and home of the brave.”


The NBA star stated that “Freedom” would be his last name and Cantor the Beach. He said that his new name came from his peers calling him.

“(Freedom) is something I have tried to fight for all my life. Freedom is the greatest thing a human being can have. So I wanted to make it my part and take it wherever I go. wanted to take away,” he said CNN,

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The Celtics player said: “When I came to America, it was very surprising to me because there is freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of the press.”

“I didn’t have any of the Turkish ones.”

His new nickname “Freedom” will be on his jersey when the Celtics face Philadelphia this weekend.

He grew up in Turkey before moving to America to pursue a career in basketball during his teens. He is best known for speaking out against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom he called a dictator.

He had earlier said that his Turkish passport was revoked in 2017 due to his activism. In 2019, Turkish authorities filed an international arrest warrant for allegedly having links with groups involved in a failed 2016 coup.

The NBA star has also been outspoken in supporting Tibetan independence and criticizing Chinese treatment of the Uighur community.

He wears specially designed shoes during his games called “Free Tibet” and often tries to raise awareness of China’s treatment of Tibet and Hong Kong.

In October, he called for a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics over China’s clout on minorities.

“The genocidal Chinese government and the insecure dictator behind it, Xi Jinping, should not be allowed to host the upcoming Winter Olympics,” he tweeted.

“Say no to Beijing 2022,” he said.

Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Enes Kanter

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