Apparently, Enes Kanter sleeps with a panic button of sorts next to his bed. And for good reason.
As a vocal dissident of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Kanter is no stranger to receiving death threats. Yet no matter how hard he tries to drown out the noise, it’s still hard for the Portland Trail Blazers center to ignore some of the threats being made against him.
Kanter also is familiar with meeting with the FBI, also. In fact, the 27-year-old told federal agents about his concerns at length after joining the Blazers in February, detailing how the threats increased earlier this season when he was unable to travel with the New York Knicks to play in London.
After hearing his pleas, the FBI installed a panic device next to his bed.
“If you’re uncomfortable with anything, just push that button,” the FBI told him, according to ESPN’s Tim Keown. “If you hear something you don’t like or have a reason to believe there’s a threat, push the button and someone will be here within minutes.”
Despite the threats, Kanter doesn’t plan on being silenced.
“I have a voice,” he said, “and I’m trying to use it to be the voice for all the innocent people who don’t have one.”
So for now, Kanter hopefully can rest (at least somewhat) easy.