Enes Kanter Freedom
Enes Kanter Freedom (Turkish pronunciation: [eˈnes kanˈtæɾ], Turks are not allowed to utter the third word; born May 20, 1992) is a basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the NBA. Though the position on his trading card is Center, the usual position he plays for the Celtics is at the end of the bench.
Freedom is essentially a Colin Kaepernick for the right wing, a social activist under the cover of a sports athlete. While left-wing Kaepernick merely pissed off fans and veterans in the audience by kneeling for the national anthem to protest police brutality, Freedom jeopardizes NBA marketing contracts with China to protest China's brutality toward, well, each of its neighbors. Both athletes have seen minimal playing time since they began their respective public relations crusades. This obviously reflects management's disapproval of their message, and not the fact that they both might cost their employers serious cash. Or, it could be racism.
Freedom is a Turk but was born in Zurich, Switzerland, without the silly third name, as his father was studying at the University of Zurich. The family then returned to Turkey, where things tend to be more exciting. Between 2006 and 2009, he warmed the bench for several Turkish basketball teams. However, in 2009, Kanter moved to the United States at the age of 17 to warm the bench on a higher level. He attended several prep schools, none of which let him play scholastic basketball because he already had a professional contract with Nike, but finally found a school that was not so nitpicky about rules.
Kanter signed a letter of intent to play for Kentucky, but the NCAA caught up with him and disqualified him for receiving $33,000 from one of his Turkish teams. Being declared a professional, Kanter resolved to do it for real, and signed with the Utah Jazz. He also played for Oklahoma, the New York Knicks, and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Political career with the Boston Celtics
In 2019, Kanter signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Celtics. He was traded to Portland in 2020, but returned to Boston during a city-wide push for recycling.
Boston is a very political city, and Kanter's political instincts, dormant since referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as the "Hitler of our century" sprang to life, and Der Führer promptly cancelled Kanter's passport. The "player without a nation" had problems: Although the modern United States will let almost anyone in, the NBA frequently sends teams to play its franchises in Canada, for which a nationality saves loads of time in both directions. Kanter worked the problem on Twitter, using the crucial hashtag #FreeEnes whose three consecutive e's challenged the typing abilities of most of the service's users.
Kanter developed a feud with another national leader, Xi Jinping of China, whom he called a "brutal dictator". Again he deployed a hashtag: #FreeTibet. Like most other members of this movement, Kanter has not specified how this would be achieved, short of using those pesky nuclear weapons. He has gone to bat (despite playing basketball and not baseball) for China's many persecuted minorities, from Wiggers to Hong Kong residents. He became an American citizen on November 29, 2021, and added the third name Freedom as another rhetorical poke in the eye of Xi.
Freedom's political career involves wearing a series of entertaining shoes onto the Boston Celtics' parquet court. These ridiculed Xi and urged freedom for assorted peoples. He is the most renowned American statesman to be renowned through his footwear since the days of President Chuck Taylor.
Lack of playing time
Again, racism is a ready-made excuse when a person with dark skin (but not that dark) doesn't get his way. Or it may be that the NBA opposes his message, though it has set up a Social Justice Coalition devoted to fair treatment for everyone not in a Chinese labor camp, which would seem to include Freedom.
A minority opinion regarding this minority's treatment is that he simply finds himself on a new team, on which Al Horford is a much, much better center.
In response to this slight, Freedom began his "These Pussies Won't Play Me" campaign. As always, he carried this campaign on-court, during the ten seconds per half in which Freedom gives Horford a breather. Freedom wore colorful new high-top sneakers with the theme expressed both in English and Mandarin Chinese, despite the offensive realism of the Chinese ideogram for our P-word. The message, however, never reached China, as the Celtics have suddenly gone missing from that country's streaming networks.
Freedom is a practicing Muslim and in 2019 wrote in the Washington Post about the challenges posed by the NBA scheduling its playoffs during Ramadan. He looks forward to more minutes in every Celtics game when he is gaunt and having muscle spasms after three weeks of fasting.
Freedom has said that during college, he learned English and "street language" by watching SpongeBob SquarePants and Jersey Shore. This certainly accounts for his accent, his goofy laugh, his "wild meatball" attitude, and his tendency to take four-minute breaks just when most viewers want to see more content.