SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is legally changing his name to Enes Kanter Freedom, according to a tweet The Athletic’s Shams Charania sent Sunday morning.
Kanter will be his middle name, and Freedom will be his last name.
Charania added that Kanter, a native of Turkey, will become a U.S. citizen on Monday.
Kanter made news earlier in the month by calling out Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James on Twitter for James’ association with Nike. Kanter claimed the sneaker company uses slave labor.
“(Kanter is) definitely not someone I would give my energy to,” James told reporters after the Lakers’ 130-108 loss to the Celtics on Nov. 19. “He’s trying to use my name to create an opportunity for himself.”
Kanter has been outspoken about various social issues, including his opposition to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The 29-year-old NBA veteran’s opposition against Erdoğan was so vehement that Kanter didn’t travel with his New York Knicks teammates when they went to London to play the Washington Wizards back in 2019, according to The New York Times. Kanter feared he would be killed in Europe.
Back in 2017, Kanter was detained at an airport in Romania because Turkish authorities canceled his passport. He said it was because of his political views against Erdoğan.
While he was a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder that year, Kanter said routinely received death threats for criticizing the Turkish government, prompting him to seek an expedited process towards becoming a U.S. citizen.
The reality of becoming an American citizen is set to become true Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.