Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Boston Celtics were able to land the fierce center Enes Kanter, in free agency this summer.  The big man and the Celtics were able to agree on a 2yr/$10M contract, with a player option in his second year.  Kanter provides the Celtics with reliability down low and around the basket.

Since Enes Kanter has joined the Boston Celtics this summer, the NBA world has learned more about him.

First of all, Enes Kanter is a native of Turkey.  What many people are unaware of are the politics in Turkey, and how it affects Enes Kanter.  As we all do, Kanter voiced his opinions about his country.

This is what Kanter has to say about Prime Minister Erdogan:

“Erdogan regime is using his power to abuse human rights.  There is no democracy and there is no freedom of speech in Turkey.”

Due to everything that has gone on, Kanter’s passport has been revoked.  He hasn’t been back to Turkey since 2015.  There is a warrant out for his arrest. Kanter fears he will be arrested if he travels outside of the United States.  Last season, while playing for the Portland Trail Blazers, Kanter wouldn’t travel to Canada to play the Toronto Raptors:

“If I’m in America, I’m safe.”

Furthermore, it is just not fair.  Kanter goes on to explain how he doesn’t know where he is from:

“People are asking me ‘where you from?’ I don’t know what to say to them.”

The Turkish government is withholding a man [Kanter] who just wants to see his people get treated fairly and with respect.  It appears to not fit into Erdogan’s agenda to have people be critical of him.  I feel like no matter where you are, or who is in power; any citizen should have the right to voice his/her opinions.  But, it is a different world over there in Turkey.

Kanter may be perceived as a big bully, but he has one of the biggest hearts that I have seen in the NBA.  Could be due to what he is going through back home.  Kanter is now doing something that is rarely done in an NBA off-season.

The Boston Celtics big man is offering 30 free basketball camps in 30 different states throughout the country.  People between 8 and 18 years old will have the opportunity to improve their skills for free, with Enes Kanter.

I’ve been playing sports for my entire life; I have never come across a camp that didn’t cost a dime.  Kanter recently had a free camp in Milford, CT, where he received the “key to the city”, due to his efforts.  Kanter had this to say about his basketball camps:

“America has given me so much.  I think its right to just come to my camp for free and enjoy it.  The most important thing is to inspire kids.

These aren’t the actions of someone who should have his passport revoked, or due to being critical of his government (or lack thereof), should Kanter be banned from his home country and family.  As you read this and think of Enes Kanter and his situation, just think of how great we all have it.  To not take anything you have for granted.

In some worlds, everything can be taken from you in the snap of a finger.  I truly hope all the issues surrounding Enes Kanter and Erdogan dissolve, and Kanter can go back home and stop living in fear.

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My name is Justin, I'm from Rhode Island, and I'm a HUGE New England sports fan. Sports are important part of my life, which works out well seeing as I follow the greatest sports city in the country!

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