SALEM, Ore. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden wants to ensure Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, a Turkish star whom Turkey wants arrested for his criticism of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will be able to safely travel to Canada for a possible NBA championship series against the Toronto Raptors.
The Oregon senator wrote Tuesday to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking that his government facilitate Kanter’s safe passage to and from Canada if the Blazers advance to the title series.
“I also urge your government to state publicly that it will not comply with any Interpol red notice meant to interfere with Mr. Kanter’s livelihood and to intimidate him and his family back in Turkey,” Wyden wrote. Wyden is a fan of his hometown team, often attending games, and he appeared in photos alongside the player who helped push the Blazers past the Denver Nuggets to advance to the Western Conference Finals.
The Blazers opened the conference finals against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. The Raptors face the Milwaukee Bucks in the other semifinal series. The NBA Finals begin May 30.