Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images
© 2023 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
NBA star and former professional wrestler Enes Kanter Freedom took a Democratic WNBA player to task Monday over her recent anti-American screed, stressing that she is "lucky and blessed" to live in a country where such open scorn and ingratitude are not met with any meaningful consequence.
What's the background?
TheBlaze previously reported that Natasha Cloud, a 31-year-old guard on the Washington Mystics, sounded off after the Supreme Court's impactful rulings Friday, calling the U.S. "trash in so many ways."
Cloud took issue in part with the court's ruling on affirmative action, suggesting on Instagram that by preventing colleges from reducing human beings to their immutable characteristics and consigning them to racial categories as part of their admissions processes, the country was "moving backwards."
The WNBA player also bemoaned the court's decision in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, which prevented Colorado from forcing Christian graphic designer Lorie Smith to create art that violates her religious beliefs.
That the Supreme Court would affirm a fellow American's First Amendment rights prompted Cloud to conclude, "Our country is literally in shambles in a lot of areas and we continue on attacking black and LGBTQ+ lives. This country is a f***ing joke."
"That is America. We are a hateful disappointment," continued the 31-year-old lesbian. "I feel like I'm gonna see a civil war in my lifetime."
Extra to Cloud's subliminal threat of domestic warfare and repeated suggestion that America fails to live up to her standards, the basketball player added, "Systemic racism still thrives."
The grass is always greener
Freedom — an outspoken critic of totalitarian regimes, including at least one that pursued Cloud's longed-for equity program to its logical conclusion — confronted the WNBA player online, noting, "People have NO idea how lucky and blessed they are to be in a country like America."
The Turkish-raised NBA star, who added "Freedom" to his name upon becoming a U.S. citizen in 2021, prompted Cloud to ask her "colleague Brittney Griner how 'trash' America is."
Griner, an WNBA player for the Phoenix Mercury, returned home from Russia, where she spent 10 months in prison with a newfound sense of appreciation for the country she had bad-mouthed and whose national anthem she had protested.
TheBlaze previously reported that Griner stood tall in May with teammates during the national anthem in her first game back at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
“Hearing the national anthem, it definitely hit different,” Griner told reporters after the Mercury game.
Besides implying that Griner's insights might help remedy Cloud's apparent deficit of patriotism, Freedom wrote, "Calling America trash huh? Let me know when your season is over, I’ll buy your ticket and we can go together to counties [sic] like China, Russia, IRAN, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, & Turkey."
"Forget about calling them trash, I would like to see if you can even criticize those regimes," he continued. "You and your family members would be thrown in jail, tortured to death, and raped. People have NO idea how lucky and blessed they are to be in a country like America. I’m not saying America is perfect, but trust me, you don’t wanna see the other side."
Upon becoming an American citizen, Freedom told CNN, "Here [in the U.S.] there is freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of the press. ... I didn't have any of those with Turkey."
Freedom recently told OutKick that for his criticism of Turkey, "I got 12 arrest warning[s] in nine years. I actually have a bounty on my head. They put my name on Interpol lists. They put my name on the most-wanted terrorist lists — just because I was talking about the human rights violations that are happening in Turkey. I was talking about the political prisoners."
Freedom is not just cognizant of the absence of his namesake in the nation where he was raised but also in other major nations around the world.
Despite NBA owners' extensive investments in China and significant pressure from corporations and Beijing, Freedom spoke out against the Chinese regime's genocide of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, its use of forced labor, and its violation of Tibetan sovereignty, reported CNN Business.
Cloud pre-empted Freedom's response and recommendations, tweeting Saturday, "I’m blessed to travel the world for my career. I’ve been in plenty of countries that I would have my human rights, healthcare, free/assisted schooling, don’t have to fear mass shootings or white supremacists, don’t have to be concerned about the highest maternal mortality rates. Less police murders, no mass incarceration based on race, adequate minimum wage, rights to my body as a woman, I MEAN I CAN KEEP GOING."
While Cloud indicated she could "keep going" with her list of preferred features supposedly boasted by other nations, she made no indication that she would relocate in pursuit of them any time soon.
Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!
Want to leave a tip?
We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.