“What I’m doing is huge because I’m talking about human rights,” Kanter said. “I’m talking about justice
Enes Kanter revealed that he and Celtics teammate Tacko Fall were harrassed outside a local mosque.
Kanter, who spoke with reporters Saturday ahead of the team’s first preseason game in Boston, said he now plans on getting full-time security after the incident.
“What I’m doing is huge because I’m talking about human rights,” Kanter told reporters. “I’m talking about democracy, freedom, freedom of speech, religion and expression. I’m talking about justice.
“So, just because I’m talking about these issues and that stuff, I’m going to get threats? [Then] I’ll take that. I’ll be OK having security next to me 24/7. But those issues that I’m talking about are way bigger than myself and basketball.”
Despite the incident outside the Cambridge mosque yesterday, Enes Kanter said he is going to continue to speak out against Erdoğan: “I’m talking about human rights. I’m talking about democracy, freedom, freedom of speech, of religion, of expression.” pic.twitter.com/8VqE8xTEgY
— Nicole Yang (@nicolecyang) October 5, 2019
Kanter has been outspoken against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and had a run-in with Erdogan supporters Friday at the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge.
He said both he and Fall chose to go there in between the team’s two training camp practices Friday since it was a short drive from the facility. Kanter shared a video of the incident on Twitter.
“There’s Turkish people attacking us. I told you, America, this is crazy, right?” Kanter was heard saying in the clip.
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) October 4, 2019
Kanter spoke in more depth about the altercation Saturday, saying he didn’t know if the men “even prayed or not” and that they were just waiting “out there and they were just saying some very ugly words.”
“After the first practice, me and Tacko went to that mosque, because it was really close to our facility,” Kanter said Saturday. “Our second practice was at 3 p.m. So I went to this mosque, we prayed and me and Tacko were about to leave and then we were just outside and there were just these two guys. You can see on the video they were just waiting for us. They were screaming, they were yelling, they were cursing.
“It was pretty crazy because this is America. You should be safe to come in a mosque and pray peacefully. It was the first time it’s happened to me in America, but it was definitely scary because I looked at Tacko and said, ‘Tacko, don’t worry about it. I’ve got it. We’re fine.’ But we were just waiting for our Uber, so it was crazy and scary.”
The center penned a two-year, $10 million contract with the Celtics in July.
Kanter began the last season with the Knicks but was released after the trade deadline. He then signed with the Trail Blazers, where he averaged 13.1 points and 8.6 rebounds in 23 games.