Ex-NBA star Enes Kanter Freedom may sue league, as Turkish government announces $500K bounty on his head

Enes Kanter Freedom is on Turkey’s 2023 most-wanted terrorists list as he has been openly critical of the country’s human rights abuses under Erdogan’s government.

Freedom, a former NBA center, has had a bounty put out on him by the Turkish government, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, worth up to 10 million Turkish lire, or about $500,000, for information leading to his capture.

The former Celtic center is on Turkey’s 2023 most-wanted terrorists list because of being openly critical of the country’s human rights abuses under Erdogan’s government. Freedom found out about the bounty a week ago and said that “before the bounty, Turkish intelligence was after the people on the list, but now everyone is after them because they want the money.”

Why sue NBA?

In addition to the bounty on his head, Freedom is also considering suing the NBA, which he believes has blackballed him following his protests against China. Freedom said “I’m waiting for the right time” and that he hasn’t held back his thoughts on Erdogan throughout his NBA career, calling him a “dictator” and even going as far as to say he’s the “Hitler of our century.” He is on the terrorist list along with real terrorists, others that have spoken out about Erdogan and his government, and multiple journalists.

Freedom was most recently with the Boston Celtics last season, but he is not on a team now, and he suspects it’s due to his criticism of President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party. The NBA has a strong relationship with China, where basketball is an extremely popular sport, and Nike has large ties with the league as well. Freedom has worn shoes with messages that included “No Beijing 2022,” “Free Tibet” and more. He said pressure from the NBA was put on him to take them off. Freedom was traded from the Celtics to the Houston Rockets, but they dropped him quickly after the transaction.

Freedom exposes NBA!

“The NBA is never going to admit it, but I believe I’m being blackballed,” he said. “I’ve had many conversations, and everyone is saying the same thing: ‘Your career has ended because of your China comments.’”
“They are a 100% American-made organization, but they are being controlled and run by the biggest dictatorship in the world, China,” he continued. “How can China fire an American citizen from an American organization? That is unacceptable.”

The Swiss-born, Turkish-raised player became an American citizen in 2021, and he added Freedom to his name. He currently lives in Washington, D.C., where he is in “constant contact” with local authorities and the FBI as a result of being on Erdogan’s list.
“I’m being protected 24/7,” Freedom said.
“I’m speaking out because I am not the only one on that list. There are so many journalists, so many activists, and so many athletes, but they aren’t as well-known as me. They are way easier targets — and they’re alone out there.”

Enes Kanter Freedom is a player who has used his platform to speak out against human rights abuses in Turkey and China. He is now facing a bounty on his head by the Turkish government and is considering suing the NBA for blackballing him due to his political views. Freedom believes he is being targeted because he is an American citizen, who is speaking out against the Chinese dictatorship. He is also using this opportunity to bring attention to other activists, journalists, and athletes who are on the list and may not be as well-known as him but are also facing similar issues.




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