Boston Celtics Player to Change Name to Enes Kanter Freedom

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Enes Kanter

Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is changing his name to Enes Kanter Freedom in celebration of becoming a U.S. citizen.

Kanter’s manager, Hank Fetic, told The Associated Press that Kanter will have his citizenship oath ceremony on Monday will complete his legal name change at the same time.

The Athletic first reported the name change news, noting that Kanter will become his middle name, while Freedom will be his new last name.

Celtics head coach Ime Udoka told the Boston Globe that the team is “all for” the name change.

“We congratulated him as a group for getting his American citizenship last week,” Udoka said. “That’s who Enes is, we’re proud of him. Enes is who he is. He’s passionate about his stances and the name change; you look at [Ron] Artest [who changed his name to Metta Sandiford-Artest in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak] and guys that have done it in the past. It’s something he wants to express and we’re all for it.”

Kanter, a 29-year-old from Turkey, is an outspoken human rights advocate who had his native passport revoked in 2017 due to his criticism of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He has also criticized NBA stars Michael Jordan and LeBron James for not doing enough to help the Black community and not speaking out against exploitative labor practices in China respectively.

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