You can add Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter to the list of NBA players who have officially changed their names during their playing days.
On Sunday, NBA insider Shams Charania reported that Kanter will legally change his name to Enes Kanter Freedom as he prepares to become a U.S. citizen on Monday.
“Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is legally changing his name to Enes Kanter Freedom, [The Athletic] [Stadium] learned,” Charania posted to Twitter. “Kanter will be his middle name, Freedom is his new last name. He becomes a U.S. citizen on Monday.”
Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is legally changing his name to Enes Kanter Freedom, @TheAthletic @Stadium learned. Kanter will be his middle name, Freedom is his new last name. He becomes a U.S. citizen on Monday.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 28, 2021
In 1981, NBA player Lloyd Free changed his name to World B. Free, and Ron Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace in 2011.
The Celtics are Kanter’s fifth NBA team, and he has averaged 4.2 points and 5.2 rebounds in 11.2 minutes per game in the 2021-2022 season. He has appeared in nine of the Celtics 20 games this year.
Kanter has become increasingly vocal about human rights this season, speaking out against the Chinese government and those who profit off of Chinese labor.
Kanter has called for a free Tibet, an independent Taiwan, called on the Chinese government to “stop the genocide” of the Uyghur people, and challenged President Biden to “stop playing games with bullies” ahead of his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Kanter has not been afraid to criticize the Chinese president, calling him a “brutal dictator” for the Chinese government’s record of human rights abuses.
In an October 20th tweet, Kanter called on the Chinese government to “Free Tibet,” causing Celtics games to be pulled from the Chinese streaming service, Tencent.
“I say, shame on the Chinese government,” Kanter said. “The Chinese dictatorship is erasing Tibetan identity and culture. The cultural genocide in Tibet is so stifling, that more than 150 Tibetan people have burned themselves alive, hoping that such a horrific act of sacrifice will raise awareness and attention towards the ongoing abuses within Tibet.”
“Brutal dictator of China, Xi Jinping, I have a message for you and your henchmen,” he said in the video. “Free Tibet, free Tibet, free Tibet.”
Kanter has also gone after Nike and the face of the NBA — LeBron James.
In the Celtics November 19th matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers, Kanter sported custom shoes that took direct aim at James.
A day before, Kanter took to social media with a message for James accompanied by pictures of his custom footwear.
“Money over Morals for the ‘King’ Crown. Sad & disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice,” Kanter said, referring to James. “They really do ‘shut up & dribble’ when Big Boss [Flag of China] says so. Did you educate yourself about the slave labor that made your shoes or is that not part of your research?”
Money over Morals for the “King” 👑
Sad & disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice
They really do “shut up & dribble” when Big Boss 🇨🇳 says so
Did you educate yourself about the slave labor that made your shoes or is that not part of your research? pic.twitter.com/YUA8rGYeoZ
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) November 18, 2021
The Celtics travel to Toronto to take on the Raptors Sunday night.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to email@example.com.