A Man of Courage and Conviction

By Ray Cardello for February 24, 2022 Season 9 / Post 7


Enes Kanter Freedom is a man who may have more love of America and freedom than most natural-born Americans. His story is impressive, from growing up in Turkey to coming to America to play the game he loves, basketball. His career had him on numerous teams. He is not a superstar, but if you are good enough to play in the NBA, you are an elite professional athlete.

Freedom was making $2.6 Million a year playing for the Boston Celtics, but because of the other passion in this young man’s life, he was recently released and is now unemployed. Freedom was considered toxic by sponsors, so he had no endorsement contracts. Let’s take a look at Enes Kanter Freedom, the man.

Enes Kanter was born in Switzerland to a medical family, his father a doctor and his mother a nurse. The family returned to their homeland, Turkey, when Enes was just a young boy. As a teen, Kanter played basketball as a professional in Istanbul and moved to America when he was 17. Since he was already a professional athlete, high school and college ball were not options. He was drafted into the NBA at 19 and played for five teams in the next 11 years.

Enes Kanter became an American citizen in 2021, and knowing oppression from the time he spent in Turkey, he has an intense appreciation of his new country. He so loved the freedom offered in America that he legally changed his name to Enes Kanter Freedom. Freedom is very outspoken about human rights violations worldwide, and that passion for justice and freedom cost him his job.

One of the situations he spoke about often is the treatment of the Uyghurs by the Chinese government. He has a massive problem with the hypocrisy of the NBA making so much money from China when China is creating genocide on these people. He also spoke out about the world turning its back on the Uyghurs, Taiwan, and other ways China infringes on people’s rights to award China the 2022 Winter Olympics. The intensity of his passion for bringing these situations to light has cost him his job and income. His courage and voice have earned him a Nobel Peace Prize nomination, and nobody may be more deserving.

Freedom is not sure what the future holds for him, but his love and knowledge of this country as a new citizen is inspiring. His passion and conviction to speak out against injustice at the expense of personal gain are unparalleled. His actions are rare for someone so young and successful. His story draws parallels to Collin Kaepernick, but Kaepernick could learn much from this foreign-born young man who saw so much good in America that he has given up everything to be a citizen and a spokesman for human rights.

Enes Kanter Freedom is a young man. He is an immigrant. Enes Kanter Freedom is now an American citizen and has shown by his example what that means. Unlike us born here and lived our lives as Americans, Enes takes nothing for granted. He knows more about civics than ten of us together, but more importantly, he knows what it is like to live in an oppressed country. He has not seen his parents in years, as they are not allowed out of Turkey nor him in. But nothing seems to phase this driven man of courage and fortitude.

I can only hope well for him in his next chapter, for he deserves it. He has sacrificed it all for people he does not know, but he knows they need a voice. He is that voice, and they could not have a better spokesman. God Bless you, Enes Kanter Freedom. You do not need a basketball to prove your worth. You were born a hero.

 This article was first published on The Liberty Loft thelibertyloft.com 

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