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Knicks Ex on Transgender Debate: 'I'll Dominate WNBA!' - Enes Kanter Freedom

Former New York Knicks starter Enes Kanter Freedom leaped into the debate surrounding transgender athletes.

Former NBA veteran-turned-political activist Enes Kanter Freedom sarcastically floated a new plan to return to the hardwood while offering his thoughts on transgender athletes in sports.

A two-year member of the New York Knicks, Freedom also carried on his claim that he has been "blackballed" by the NBA by suggesting a new endeavor, namely joining the WNBA.

"Men don’t belong in women’s spaces, restrooms, locker rooms, or sports," Freedom said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. "Since I’m blackballed from the NBAm should I put on a wig, identify as a woman and start dominating the WNBA? Is that when the outrage will begin? Is that fair to all the women who spent their whole life chasing their goals? Where are all the Women Rights Activists and Feminists?!"

The 6-10 Freedom, 31, claims he has been banished from the NBA due to his criticism of the Association's continued business relationship with China in spite of the latter's alleged human rights abuses (namely its internment of Uyghur Muslims). He played with six NBA teams since arriving as a third overall pick of the 2011 Draft and last took the floor with the Boston Celtics in 2022. 

His career includes two seasons as a starter with the Knicks (2017-19), with his most notable effort being a 31-point, 22-rebound double-double during a Christmas loss to Philadelphia in 2017.

The Turkish-born Freedom is the latest athlete to comment on transgender competitors. Freedom's views seem to align with those of athletes like Martina Navratilova, who recently took to X to criticize the United States Tennis Association's policies, which allows "those who transition from male to female" to compete in female events if requirements regarding testosterone levels and gender identity (a "declaration (that) cannot be changed, for sporting purposes, for a minimum of four years") are met. 

"Women’s tennis is not for failed male athletes, whatever age," the 18-time Grand Slam singles champion wrote. "This is not right and it is not fair. Would this be allowed at the US Open this month? Just with self-ID? I don’t think so."

United States women's national soccer team star Megan Rapinoe has long been an advocate of trans athletes in women's sports, remarking that she would readily welcome such a teammate.

"‘You’re taking a "real" woman’s place,’ that’s the part of the argument that’s still extremely transphobic. I see trans women as real women," the two-time FIFA World Cup champion and 2012 Olympic gold medalist told Time magazine in a July interview. "What you’re saying automatically in the argument - you’re sort of telling on yourself already - is you don’t believe these people are women. Therefore, they’re taking the other spot. I don’t feel that way."

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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