Enes Kanter Details How Protests Soured His Relationship With Kaepernick

John Simmons | June 21, 2022
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What started as a positive relationship between former Boston Celtics forward Enes Kanter Freedom and washed up NFL wannabe Colin Kaepernick has evidently ended on less than favorable terms.

Speaking with Outkick’s Tomi Lahren on "Tomi Lahren is Fearless" on Monday, Freedom outlined the details of how his relationship with Kaepernick began and ended. After Kanter started making headlines by protesting against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2016, the NBA-star reached out to Kaepernick for some tips on how to use his platform more effectively. Apparently, those conversations bore some good fruit.

"I told him about the problems that were happening in Turkey. I was like, 'What can I do to bring more awareness?'" Freedom said. "He gave me lots of tips."

However, things changed when Kanter made Nike his next target. Kanter called out the sports apparel giant for using slave labor from China to produce their merchandise, and any athletes that were making money off sponsorships form them (like Kaepernick and LeBron James). 

Related: Sports World Riots Over Jack Del Rio's Jan. 6 Comments

Kanter said the following concerning Nike last November:

Nike, to me, the biggest hypocrite company out there. They stand for Black Lives Matter in America, amazing, they stand with Latino community, no Asian hate, they stand with LBGQ community, but when it comes to some of the countries out there, like China, they remain silent.

Obviously they are using these players to become the face (of Nike) like Cristiano Ronaldo for soccer, LeBron for basketball and some of the other athletes, but they’re becoming puppets. I feel like we need to be careful of what we are wearing because every time you put those items on your feet or on your back, there’s so much blood and sweat and so much oppression on those items, so be careful.

That’s when things went south between Kapernick and Freedom. Kaepernick had been making millions in endorsement deals with Nike, and after Freedom started criticizing Nike, Kaepernick cut off communication with Freedom.

"I've been texting him, but there's no answer," Freedom said. "I'm just hoping that he's not seeing my text messages, but he was my friend and I hope he is still my friend."

Kanter detailed all that and more in his interview with Lahren.

 

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