It’s not often politics and sports intertwine in such an explosive way, but things got heated on Sunday in the NBA.
Enes Kanter, the Thunder stud big man, is of Turkish decent and has been an outspoken critic of the Turkey’s increasingly aggressive new government and president.
— 120 Sports (@120Sports) May 20, 2017
His criticism landed him in hot water traveling abroad, with Kanter posting on social media that he was detained in an airport and had his passport revoked.
Per @MahirZeynalov, if Enes Kanter is deported to Turkey, he will likely be arrested. Has been vocal critic of Erdogan.
— Michele Steele (@ESPNMichele) May 20, 2017
Enes Kanter has landed in London. He and his representatives are now figuring out next steps, which is hopefully returning to the US.
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) May 20, 2017
The news caught the internet by storm earlier today, with the Thunder and the NBA working to get Kanter out of the airport and back to friendly grounds.
— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) May 20, 2017
The most beautiful country in the world.
The United States Of America 🇺🇸 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/FBPurW17AT
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) May 21, 2017
After a few hours, Kanter was finally allowed to leave the airport and fly to another nearby country.
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
A close call by the NBA, we’ll likely see more out of this story going forward, with Kanter set to address the media in his return to the US tomorrow.