NBA star Enes Kanter Freedom wrote a touching op-ed published in ‘The Atlantic’ Thursday outlining the reasons he became an American citizen; saying people in the United States have the “freedom to say whatever they want.”
“When Turkey’s leader came after me and my family, the United States welcomed me with open arms,” writes the athlete.
“When I first arrived in the United States, I had to adjust to a new language, new norms, and new traditions. But I was perhaps most stunned by a simple comment a teammate made. He criticized President Barack Obama, which I feared could have landed him in prison. He smiled and said: ‘This isn’t Turkey, brother. You have the freedom to say whatever you want.’
“Americans might find the thought absurd, but the threat of prison is all too real for those living under authoritarian rule around the world. Since Recep Tayyip Erdoğan became president of Turkey in 2014, after more than a decade as prime minister, at least 12,881 people have been convicted of the crime of insulting the president. Thousands have been sent to prison, including children, for offenses as trivial as posting something on social media that might hurt the feelings of an emotionally fragile dictator.
“I’m overwhelmed with emotion just writing these words: I, Enes Kanter Freedom, am proud to be a citizen of the United States of America, the land of the free, and home of the brave,” he concluded.
Read his full op-ed here.
LeBRON UPDATE: James Deletes Tweet, Insists ‘Anger Still Here for What Happened to That Lil Girl’
LeBron James reacted to a growing backlash on social media this week after tweeting, then deleting, a message to a Columbus cop involved in a police shooting; saying he was “damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police.”
“ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself! Gathering all the facts and educating does though! My anger still is here for what happened that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail!” posted the NBA star.
“I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate -This isn’t about one officer. it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY,” he added.
ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself! Gathering all the facts and educating does though! My anger still is here for what happened that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail! 🙏🏾✊🏾🤎👑
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021
I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate -This isn’t about one officer. it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021
NBA legend LeBron James issued a public statement to the Columbus, Ohio police officer who shot a teenager Tuesday night after she allegedly attacked another minor with a knife; telling the cop “You’re Next.”
LeBron deleted it pic.twitter.com/iJil2ohGkn
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 21, 2021
James deleted the message after users on social media complained about the veiled threat.
“Ma’Khia Bryant, a young Black girl, was shot and killed by a Columbus police officer Tuesday afternoon while yielding a knife and attempting to stab another female, and her death has since sparked national outrage,” reports WKYC.
“The Akron native and current Los Angeles Laker has since received nearly 5,000 replies to his tweet, many arguing about whether or not the shooting of Bryant was justified,” adds the news outlet.
Read the full report here.
BACKLASH: USA Today Calls LeBron James’ China Defense ‘Most Disgraceful Moment of His Career’
The backlash against NBA superstar LeBron James reached a fever-pitch Tuesday afternoon, with a major American newspaper calling his pro-China comments the “most disgraceful moment of his career.”
“On behalf of the 327 million American citizens who generally believe that freedom is good and authoritarian regimes are less good, let me apologize to LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers,” writes Dan Wolken.
“It must have been a real inconvenience to take that 13-hour chartered flight to China last week and hang around a luxury hotel in Shanghai for five days while promotional appearances got canceled. Surely it was awful to be in the middle of an international firestorm where the stakes were so high: Would preseason NBA games be played or not?” adds the author.
— New York Post (@nypost) October 15, 2019
LeBron James on if Daryl Morey should be reprimanded for his tweet pic.twitter.com/6hCE8vCyNn
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) October 15, 2019
“LeBron, we’ve come to expect more of you. You’re obviously an intelligent person, a compassionate person and a socially conscious person. At this point in your life and career, it’s part of your brand. But to present that face to an American audience while essentially admitting that all you care about when it comes to the rest of the world is cashing those big checks — well, let’s just say it doesn’t look very good on you,” writes Wolken.
My team and this league just went through a difficult week. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen. Could have waited a week to send it.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 15, 2019
Read the full report at USA Today.