(Reuters) - Boston Celtics and Turkey center Enes Kanter said he had been harassed outside a Massachusetts mosque on Friday by two men he described as supporters of Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan.
Kanter, who filmed the incident and posted it on Twitter, is an outspoken critic of the Turkish regime and its human rights record.
He was indicted by a Turkish court last year on charges of belonging to an armed terrorist group, which he denies.
“Erdogan thugs attacked and threatened me today after Friday prayers in Boston at a mosque,” he wrote.
“Turkish Government don’t even let me practice my religion freely in America let alone my freedom of speech is under attack.”
The video does not show any physical violence but Kanter is clearly agitated as a crowd gathers around him on the sidewalk, and he seems particularly annoyed by one man who is not speaking English.
“I told you America, this is crazy,” Kanter said in the video.
He later told the Boston Globe that the two men cursed at him and called him a “traitor” during the confrontation outside the Islamic Society of Boston in Cambridge.
“I shouldn’t be feeling uncomfortable or insecure while critiquing anyone but unfortunately even in America they make me feel this insecurity,” Kanter said.
“Can you even imagine how people in Turkey feel?”
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Clare Fallon