NBA's Enes Kanter: Americans criticizing their country should 'keep their mouth shut'

Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter, who became a U.S. citizen on Monday and legally changed his name to add "Freedom," says Americans who criticize the U.S. should "keep their mouth shut."

During an appearance on Fox News “Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonDemocrat says Tucker Carlson viewers telling his office US should side with Russia The Hill's 12:30 Report: More of Biden's agenda teeters on collapse The Hill's Morning Report: Biden takes it on the chin MORE Tonight,” Kanter told host Tucker Carlson that people should be blessed to live in America, adding those who live in Turkey and China would appreciate the freedoms Americans have. 

“People should feel really blessed to be in America. They love to criticize it but when you live in a country like Turkey or China, you appreciate the freedoms you have here,” he told Carlson. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“I feel like they should just keep their mouth shut and stop criticizing the greatest nation in the world and they should focus on their freedoms and their human rights and democracy,” he added. 

Kanter, an 11-year NBA veteran, legally changed his name to “Enes Kanter Freedom” after being sworn in as an American citizen on Monday. 

Kanter followed other NBA stars including Lloyd Bernard Free (World B. Free) and Ron Artest (Metta World Peace) who have legally changed their name. 

ADVERTISEMENT

This comes as Kanter has become a prominent critic of the Chinese government and the government of his native Turkey over the past few years. 

The Chinese government earlier this month pulled Celtics’ game telecast and highlights off the air after Kanter posted a video calling Chinese President Xi Jinping a “brutal dictator.”

Kanter also called out Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James over his ties to Nike and China, while profiting from sneakers made in the country. 

During a CNN interview with host Pamela Brown, Kanter also called out basketball legend Michael Jordan, saying the Charlotte Hornets owner hasn’t done anything for the Black community.