The New York Knicks are set to take on the Washington Wizards on January 17th in London. Enes Kanter will be staying behind in the United States. Officially, the team has stated that he will not be making the trip because of a problem with his visa, but Kanter, as outspoken as he always is, admitted that he will not be going overseas, because he fears for his life due to his ongoing feud with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In 2016, Kanter was critical of the Turkish President on Twitter which ignited the controversy. A year later, Kanter’s Turkish passport was revoked and a warrant was put out for his arrest while he was traveling in Romania. The next year, his father was arrested because of his Kanter’s thoughts, the center believes.
When asked if he truly believes he would be killed in London, he said, “Oh yeah, easy… They’ve got a lot of spies there. I can get killed very easy. That will be a very ugly situation.” It is crazy to think that there are still leaders that still act this way. Not trying to make a political statement, but this next quote reminded me how happy I am to live in America.
To reporters, Kanter went into more detail, “I’m not going so I’m just going to stay here to just practice here. It’s pretty sad that all this stuff affects my career and basketball because I want to be out there and help my team win. But just because of that one lunatic guy—one maniac, one dictator—I can’t even go out there and just do my job. It’s pretty sad.”
Of course, I hope this is all in Kanter’s head and just a little bit of paranoia. No one should have to fear an organization that is put in place to protect them.