Enes Kanter, basketball player and outspoken human rights activist, changed his name to “Enes Kanter Freedom” to adopt US citizenship.
The Boston Celtics player, born in Switzerland and raised in Turkey, shared a video of his swearing-in ceremony on Monday. After taking the oath, he waved a miniature American flag and said “Freedom is everything,” while signing the naturalization document.
“I’m proud to be an American. The greatest nation in the world. The land of the free and home of the brave,” the 29-year-old wrote on Twitter.
The NBA star said “Freedom” would be his last name and Kanter in the middle. He added that his new name comes from what his teammates called him.
“(Freedom) is the one thing I’ve tried to fight for all my life. Freedom is the greatest thing a human being can have. That’s why I wanted to make it a part of me and take it everywhere I go, “he said CNN.
The Celtics player added: “When I came to America, for me it was so amazing because here there is freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of speech. the press. “
“I haven’t had any with Turkey.”
His new surname “Freedom” will be on his jersey when the Celtics face Philadelphia later this week.
He grew up in Turkey before moving to the United States to pursue a career in basketball as a teenager. He is known to have spoken out against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom he called a dictator.
He previously said his Turkish passport was revoked in 2017 due to his activism. In 2019, Turkish authorities filed an international arrest warrant for alleged links to groups involved in a failed 2016 coup.
The NBA star also expressed support for Tibet’s independence and criticized Chinese treatment of the Uyghur community.
He wore specially designed shoes with the inscription “Free Tibet” during his games and often tried to educate the public about China’s treatment of Tibet and Hong Kong.
In October, he called for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing over China’s crackdown on minorities.
“The genocidal Chinese government and the uncertain tyrant behind it all, Xi Jinping, must not be allowed to host the next Winter Olympics,” he tweeted.
“Say NO to Beijing 2022,” he added.
The Independent Gt