Oklahoma City Thunder’s Enes Kanter is blaming the incident on his outspoken criticism of a leader President Donald Trump welcomed to the White House last week.
“We are in Romania and they said they cancelled my passport by Turkish embassy. They have been holding us here for hours by these two police,” Kanter said in a video posted to his Twitter account.
Kanter, the 6’11 center for the Thunder and Swiss born Turkish citizen, was traveling and working with his children’s foundation when he was held inside a Romanian airport.
“The reason behind it is just, of course, my political views,” Kanter said.
Kanter says his passport was canceled because he criticized Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and spoke out about the recent attack on the protestors by Erdogan’s security detail.
“You guys know him by, you know, he has attacked the people in Washington. He is a bad, bad man; he is a dictator,” Kanter said.
This isn’t the 6-year NBA veteran’s first time facing backlash over his political views.
Last July, Kanter reportedly received death threats, some on social media, after criticizing the Turkish government following a terrorist attack.
“The fact that he’s felt emboldened to talk about that, we should expect it, and frankly, we should welcome it. Athletes are finding their voice in a way that we really haven’t seen since the 1960s,” sports columnist Christine Brennan said.
All good baby!
Gonna give press conference tomorrow in NY.
Got lots of things to say with lots of crazy stories.
Ohhh Yeeahhh pic.twitter.com/CXktUXk2PS
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) May 20, 2017
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