NBA back New York Knicks Enes Kanter after he missed London trip

Safety is paramount to the NBA amid Turkey seeking an Interpol red notice for New York Knicks ace Enes Kanter. Kanter made the decision that it was not safe for him to travel to the NBA London game on Thursday for fear of assassination, a situation commissioner Adam Silver described as ‘very unfortunate’.Kanter missed the European face-off against the Washington Wizards with real fears that his safety could be put at risk due to his fierce criticism of controversial Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. New York Knicks star Enes Kanter missed the London clash with the Washington Wizards The Knicks star watched the game at home on TV as he did not feel it was safe to travel  Share this article Share Istanbul-based newspaper Daily Sabah reported on Wednesday that an arrest warrant was issued for the Knicks centre by Turkish prosecutors.But Silver was quick to back Kanter’s decision and reiterated the league take any threats against players incredibly seriously.’My stance is that I think it’s very unfortunate that Enes Kanter is not here with the New York Knicks,’ he said. ‘I absolutely understand his reasoning why he elected not to come. Certainly there was never a suggestion from the league that he was not welcome to come on this trip. The NBA star has been a vocal critic of controversial Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’But we live in a world where these are really significant issues that he is dealing with, and I recognise that for the NBA, that by virtue of the fact that we’re a global business, we have to pay a lot of attention to these issues as well.’I will say there’s nothing more important to me as the Commissioner of the league than the security and the safety of our players. So we take very seriously the threats that he’s received, even if it’s just people on social media.’Again, I support Enes as a player in this league, and I support the platform that our players have to speak out on issues that are important to them.’ Kanter fears he could be attacked by supporters of Turkish president Recep Tayyip ErdoganKanter had his Turkish passport revoked in 2017 and has been critical of the regime since, calling Erdogan a ‘lunatic’.And events took a more serious turn when a Interpol red notice – an international arrest warrant – was issued while his team-mates were in the air on route to London for the game.One of the accusations labelled at Kanter is that he has links with armed groups said to be behind the 2016 failed coup in his home country.But the Knicks player, while gaining widespread support on the matter, has still been able to joke about his situation, as he tweeted ‘the only thing I terrorise is the rim’. Share this article Share