New York Knick to miss London trip over assassination fears
New York Knicks forward Enes Kanter has said that he will not play in his side's upcoming trip to London later this month for fear that he could be killed.
Kanter has been an outspoken critic of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and will stay in New York while the Knicks travel to face Washington at The O2 arena in London on January 17.
The forward announced his decision after the Knicks 119-112 win over the LA Lakers on Friday night and insisted that his plan to stay in America stems from concerns over his safety.
Enes Kanter says he’s not going to London with Knicks because he fears for his life due to “that freaking lunatic, the Turkish president. There’s a chance that I can get killed out there.” pic.twitter.com/NvRDSHWB4V
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) January 5, 2019
“I talk to the front office and decided I’m not going,’’ Kanter said.
“The freaking lunatic, there’s a chance I can get killed out there. I talked to the front office. I’m not going. I’m going to stay here and practice. It’s pretty sad.
"All this stuff affects my career in basketball. I want to help my team win, but because of one lunatic guy I can’t even go there to do my job. It’s pretty sad. They got a lot of spies there. I can get killed pretty easy.’’
Turkish authorities canceled Kanter's passport last year after arriving at Bucharest’s Henri Coanda airport with Kanter calling Erdogan a “terrible man” and the “Hitler of our century”.
Kanter said that in Turkey his family can’t even go out to eat while his brother told him that their dad went to the supermarket and they spit on his face.