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Report: Celtics' Enes Kanter Is Legally Changing His Name to Enes Kanter Freedom

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVNovember 28, 2021

Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is reportedly changing his name to Enes Kanter Freedom.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Kanter will become his middle name, while Freedom will be his surname.

Kanter has become an increasingly vocal civil rights activist and recently criticized Nike for what he believes is the company's inaction regarding the treatment of minorities in China.

"There are so many forced labor factories in China. For instance, Uyghur forced labor, it is modern day slavery, and it is happening right now in China," Kanter said in a CNN interview. "Millions of Uyghurs are currently detained, sold and assigned to work at forced labor camps, prisons and factories across the country. They are under constant surveillance, with long working hours and poor living conditions.

"Don't forget, every time you put those shoes on your feet, or you put that T-shirt on your back, there are so many tears and so much oppression and so much blood behind it all."

Kanter has also been critical of LeBron James, who is endorsed by Nike, and Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai, who reportedly has close ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Kanter has referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping as a "dictator."

James said Kanter is attempting to "use [his] name to create an opportunity for himself."

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"He's always had a word or two to say in my direction, and as a man, if you've got an issue with somebody, you really come up to him. He had his opportunity tonight. I seen him in the hallway, and he walked right by me," James told reporters after last week's game against the Celtics.

Kanter, who will become a U.S. citizen Monday, grew up in Turkey and has spoken out about what he views as human rights abuses in his home country in the past.

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