NBA free agent Enes Kanter Freedom dedicated his life to achieving a place in professional basketball at the professional level and accomplished his goal by playing 11 seasons.
Although the 30-year-old had planned for a career beyond 11, Kanter’s trajectory of freedom, using her platform to address human rights abuses in China, Turkey and other parts of the world, has derailed.
Now, Cantor Freedom is biding his time to escape a malicious dictatorship that wants him dead.
Turkey offers $500K bounty on Enes Kanter’s freedom
Enes joined Outkick 360 on Wednesday to discuss the $500,000 bounty his home country, Turkey, placed on him after he spoke out against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Kanter Freedom shared how the Turkish regime reacted viciously to his op-eds criticizing the president, and how even association with him led to people being jailed in Turkey.
He also mentioned how NBA players supported him when he escaped the deathly target and how America secured him in his time of need.
“So if you’re in a country like Turkey, whatever you say or tweet something, do something against it [President] Erdogan or his regime, you will be in jail the next day,” said Kantor Freedom.
He added, “[M]y Manager’s wife is actually Turkish. Her father liked one of my posts on Twitter and he spent 13 days in jail for liking one of my posts on Twitter. So it’s a crazy story.”
Finding True Freedom in America
Jonathan Hutton and Chad Withrow discuss how Enes’ platform changed his life in basketball and beyond the sport. Enes discusses attending the games with security personnel watching him and the American surveillance currently protecting him from a deadly Turkish bounty.
Cantor Freedom tells how he discovered generosity and what happened when he learned about it when he went to Vatican City.
“I immediately had a conversation with the FBI and my friends on the ground, and they told me to come back to America as soon as possible. So the next morning, I took the next flight, landed in America, and I had a conversation with some friends on the ground.
“They said this award was going to be serious because they heard there were some professional hitmen out there; one of my friends said they might be serial killers. … So the last four or five days have been very difficult. But I’ve been able to reach a lot of people around the world, showing a lot of support.
Hutton Cantor asked Freedom, “Are you scared?”
“Not in America,” responded Cantor Freedom, who became an American citizen on November 29, 2021.
“Anywhere in the world. Yes. But I know I am very well protected in America.
The NBA ignores Enes in a time of need
Withrow asked Enes if he had received any outreach from the NBA since learning the news of his award.
“I played on five different teams,” Enes said. “And I have hundreds of colleagues. I promise you, I never called them my colleagues. I called them my brothers because they were so close to some of the things that happened in my life before this China thing. They are my biggest supporters.
“The day I talked about China, the day I criticized Nike, the day I said the NBA bowed to a dictatorship. … Not one of my colleagues spoke to me.”
Watch the full interview here: