The Boston Celtics center formerly known as Enes Kanter has become a U.S. citizen, and he celebrated his new status with a new name — legally changing it to Enes Kanter Freedom.
Kanter Freedom took his citizenship oath at a ceremony Monday afternoon.
"I've waited for this moment for like six years now, and it's finally happened, it's like a dream come true," he said outside federal court in Boston.
Kanter Freedom sported a T-shirt with an American flag, reading "U.S. Citizen, Est. 2021."
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"America taught me so much. Here, people should feel blessed," he said. "You've got freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of press."
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The 29-year-old Turkish native has been outspoken about his political beliefs, criticizing the Turkish government and Chinese President Xi Jinping, which has caused backlash with Chinese broadcaster and NBA partner Tencent, which subsequently refused to show Celtics games.
"This is God's work. I'm not scared of anybody. I'm not scared of China, or Xi Jinping, anyone that I'm outspoken against, because I know I'm doing this for innocent people," he said.
Kanter Freedom says it's important for him to bring more awareness to human rights violations happening in both China and Turkey, and he has called for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
"I'm definitely calling out not just athletes, but all those governments and countries to boycott the Olympics," Kanter Freedom said. "To me, morals, principles and values are way more important than any endorsement deals they can offer."
He says it's been several years since he has seen his parents after the Turkish government revoked his passport in 2017, and he wishes they could have been here to share this moment in the place he now calls home.
"That's another goal, but I'm sure that they are very proud. They've been following the news, I believe, and I hope," he said.
Kanter Freedom will debut his new jersey with his new name for Wednesday night's game against the Philadelphia 76'ers.