Knicks' Enes Kanter won't travel to London due to safety fears | News Coverage from USA

Knicks’ Enes Kanter won’t travel to London due to safety fears

LOS ANGELES — The New York Knicks will travel to London later this month for a game against the Washington Wizards.

Enes Kanter will not be going with them.

The Knicks center said after the team’s 119-112 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night at Staples Center that he cannot make the trip because of concerns for his safety.

Kanter is an outspoken critic of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of his home country of Turkey, who issued an international warrant for Kanter’s arrest last May. 

Kanter’s passport has also been revoked by the Turkish government. 

“Sadly I’m not going because of that freaking lunatic, the Turkish president,” Kanter said. “There’s a chance that I can get killed out there. So that’s why I talked to the front office. I’m not going. So I’m just going to stay here, just practice here. It’s pretty sad that just all this stuff affects my career and basketball, because I want to be out there helping my team win. But just because of that one lunatic guy, one maniac or dictator, I can’t even go out there and just do my job. So it’s pretty sad.”

A Knicks team official later clarified that Kanter cannot travel because of visa issues.

But Kanter said his life would be at risk.

“They’ve got a lot of spies there,” Kanter said. “I can get killed very easy. That will be a very ugly situation.”

Chris Iseman writes for The Bergen Record, part of the USA TODAY Network.


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