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November 30, 2022 4:13 pm

‘We Need to Make This World Better’: Enes Kanter Freedom Honored at J100 Gala


avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Former NBA star Enes Kanter Freedom speaking at The Algemeiner’s J100 Gala in midtown Manhattan. Nov 29, 2022.

Human rights activist and former NBA star Enes Kanter Freedom called for intercultural engagement on Tuesday while accepting the “Warrior for Truth” award at The Algemeiner’s ninth annual “J100” gala in New York City.

The former Boston Celtics player, who was born in Switzerland and grew up in Turkey, received the honor for his human rights advocacy, activism against antisemitism, and efforts to unite Christian, Druze, Jewish, and Muslim youth through a series of basketball camps launched in Israel in July.

“I feel like we have a lot of differences. Different colors, different backgrounds, different religions and all different cultures and stuff,” Kanter Freedom said. “I think what we need to do is to leave our differences on the table and try to find what we have in common.”

“So, we have to do whatever we can,” he continued. “We need to make this world better together.”

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Kanter Freedom also spoke of his memories of a child seeing those around him stomping and burning American and Israeli flags. Kanter said he refused to fall into easy stereotypes and, as he became older, came to see the depth and beauty of the Jewish faith.

“We always need fearless media outlets, fearless journalists who are going to go out and speak the truth,” Kanter Freedom said at the event. “Unfortunately, in my home country that’s what I’m facing right now. There’s no freedom of speech, no freedom of media. That’s why when I heard about The Algemeiner I realized: lets do it.”

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