Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is changing his name to “Enes Kanter Freedom” to commemorate becoming a citizen of the United States.
What are the details?
Kanter is set to attend his citizenship ceremony on Monday afternoon, during which time he will complete his legal name change, the Associated Press reported.
CNN reported that “Freedom” will be Kanter’s last name, and “Kanter” will be his middle name.
Kanter told the outlet that he decided to change his last name to Freedom as a nod to what his teammates have reportedly nicknamed him in the past.
Kanter, a 29-year-old Turkish native, has been outspoken against China’s censorship tactics and its treatment of the Uyghur community, as well as Nike’s LeBron James’ outspoken support of the country. Kanter recently blasted James over his relationship with the athletic giant due to its purported forced labor practices in China. Nike has previously insisted that it “does not source products from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.”
Kanter also recently called out NBA superstar legend Michael Jordan, whom he accused of placating the black community with money — but no real help to effect social change.
In recent remarks, Kanter accused Jordan of doing “nothing for the black community in America” save for “giving them money” because he “cares too much about his shoe sales.”
“Not many people are talking about Michael Jordan,” Kanter complained at the time. “Michael Jordan hasn’t done anything, nothing, for the black community in America besides just, you know, giving them money. I feel like we need to call out these athletes. At least LeBron James is going out there and being the voice of all those people who are oppressed in America.”
In October, Kanter pointed the finger at CEO Phil Knight for not being more vocal against the Chinese government’s atrocities.
“Dear Nike, your company says that you’re making a positive impact in our communities,” Kanter said in fiery remarks. “And that is true. Yes, you are. Here, in the United States, Nike stands with Black Lives Matter, Nike stands with Stop Asian Hate, Nike stands with the Latino community, and Nike stands with the LGBTQ community. And Nike remains vocal about injustice here in America.”
“But when it comes to China, Nike remains silent,” he continued. “You do not address police brutality in China, you do not speak about discrimination against the LGBTQ community, you do not say a word about the oppression of minorities in China. You are scared to speak up.”