Portland Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers

To the shock of no one, Enes Kanter is standing up for civil rights. 

The former Portland Trail Blazer and current Boston Celtic attended a Black Lives Matter rally in Boston Sunday afternoon, and even took the microphone to say a few words. 

"Listen everybody, my name is Enes Kanter and I play for the Boston Celtics," said Kanter.

"First of all, I want to thank you all for what you're doing... I really, really appreciate it. The second thing I want to say, man; we need change and change cannot wait, you know? 

"I get emotional, but we are on the right side of history, man. You know what? Black lives matter, right? Let's go." 

He would tweet out a video of the speech, courtesy of WCVB-TV Boston, with the caption "BE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY."

He later took part in an "I can't breathe" chant: The last words of George Floyd whose death in police custody sparked nationwide protests and riots against police brutality.

This isn't the first time Kanter has stood up for what he feels is right.

Kanter, a Turkish native, has been an outspoken criticizer of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to the point the Turkish government revoked his passport in 2017 and has accused him of being a terrorist by issuing an international arrest warrant. 

 

"There are thousands of people getting killed, raped. It’s really sad to see all this," said Kanter when he returned back to the United States after being detained in Romania while on a world tour for his charitable foundation. 

"My friends’ family are in jail. I hope the world is watching this. I want people to do something about it. A lot of people are awaiting help. (We need to) Definitely do something against the Erdogan government. I love Turkey, I love my country, but I’m just trying to speak up and be the voice of the innocent people.”

The revoked passport has caused Kanter to not travel for road games against the Toronto Raptors. 

Kanter's own parents were forced to publicly disown him through a Turkish publication back in 2016. 

“As soon as they are in contact with me, they’d put them in jail,” Kanter said in 2017.

Kanter told E:60's Jeremy Schaap last season that if he were to return to Turkey, he would be killed. Former NBA-player and current Turkish government official Hedo Turkoglu called Kanter a "terrorist organization supporter" during the same episode. 

The Turkish government even shut down a free summer basketball camp Kanter was going to hold in New York last summer by having the Turkish Consulate in New York threaten the Islamic Center of Long Island if it hosted Kanter’s event.

If Kanter will continue to stand up to the Turkish government, you best believe he will keep that same energy spreading his values here in the United States, as well.