Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter finds himself at the center of several newsworthy stories this week.
Specifically, the National Basketball Players Association spoke out in support of Kanter:
We will always support our players using their voices and we stand with you @Enes_Kanter: https://t.co/185XvvbWKl pic.twitter.com/TLgYjz53uL— NBPA (@TheNBPA) May 2, 2019
The NBPA statement appear to have been spurred by two events. First, reports surfaced that some fans attending game two of the Blazers and Nuggets playoff series may have made offensive and insensitive remarks toward Kanter:
Crowd is chanting "Kanter sucks!" and one yelled out, "Go back to Turkey, oh wait you can't!"— Royce Young (@royceyoung) May 2, 2019
"Go back to Turkey. Oh wait, you can't." -- some asshole sitting behind me.— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) May 2, 2019
Second, Kanter pointed out on Twitter that the Turkish NBA Twitter account appeared to be intentionally omitting him from updates on the Blazers postseason progress:
What a messed up country lead by #TurkishDictator @RTErdogan— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) May 2, 2019
Only Turkish player out here tonight, and the official @NBA for Turkey @NBAturkiye is censoring me. They dont show blazers games in Turkey. The government controls people,this a problem. How can official NBA allow this pic.twitter.com/Zvny0NwF8C
Subsequently, the NBA terminated their contract with the vendor managing the account and emphasized in a statement that fans can view Blazers games on NBA League Pass International while in Turkey.
For more details on the NBA’s statement, as well as additional information on the other incidents outlined, check out this comprehensive ESPN article.
For more information on the dispute between Kanter and the Turkish government, check out this Blazer’s Edge article from Miles Custis.