Posted by on November 24, 2021 5:01 pm
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NBA player Enes Kanter announces he passed US citizenship test

Boston Celtics’ Enes Kanter before an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) Michael Dwyer/AP

NBA player Enes Kanter announces he passed US citizenship test

Ryan King November 24, 04:57 PMNovember 24, 04:57 PM

Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter announced he passed his citizenship test and will be sworn in as a U.S. citizen by the end of the month.

“It’s the greatest country in the world,” he said during a Fox News interview Wednesday. “I passed my citizenship test, and at the end of this month, I am getting sworn in and becoming an official American citizen, and I cannot wait.”

The NBA player was born in Switzerland but was a Turkish citizen. His passport was revoked in 2017 after he fiercely criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for alleged human rights violations. Kanter has previously said he believes he would be killed if he returns to Turkey.

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In his interview on Fox and Friends, Kanter defended his public criticisms of the Chinese Communist Party and the pushback he has faced.

He said that during a game in Madison Square Garden, he wore “free Tibet” shoes and was asked by NBA officials to take them off. He said he refused to take them off, citing the First Amendment.

Kanter noted he had been a vocal critic of Turkey and Erdogan but never got pushback from the NBA. But when he started criticizing China, he started receiving phone calls from NBA officials, Kanter added.

“I talked about Turkey for 10 years, I did not get one phone call. I talk about China one day, my phone was ringing once every two hours,” he said. “It’s just so disgusting to me how on one side they can say, ‘Oh, we’re a social justice organization,’ but when it comes to this, they’re remaining silent.”

Kanter began criticizing Erdogan in 2013 but ramped up his criticisms when the Turkish leader began cracking down harder on journalists and dissidents. Kanter suggested in the interview that his family was essentially under house arrest in response to his public criticisms.

The NBA appeared to be supportive of his criticisms of Turkey. In 2019, it fired a Turkish vendor that avoided mentioning him in promotional content.

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Kanter has publicly feuded with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James over the latter’s unwillingness to criticize China.

He also made headlines for his recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that argued in favor of moving the 2022 Winter Olympics, set to take place in Beijing, to another country.

© 2021 Washington Examiner

Originally appeared at Washington Examiner

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