WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) — the leading organization for women — announced that Enes Kanter Freedom, human rights activist, NBA star, and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, will receive its 2023 Gentleman of Distinction Award at IWF’s Annual Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. this October. 

The Gentleman of Distinction Award celebrates a gentleman who is committed to protecting and defending our American ideals and works to create a stronger and healthier society. He also exemplifies a commitment to respect and civil discourse, showing generosity and kindness to critics, while remaining steadfast in his beliefs. He is an advocate for limited government, economic liberty, and personal freedom, and promotes equal opportunities for women and men. Past award recipients include Vivek Ramaswamy, Sen. Tim Scott, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Larry Kudlow, Mike Rowe, and Steve Forbes.

Enes Kanter Freedom

As a young child, Freedom’s mom told him to “Believe in something and always stand up tall for it. Even if it means sacrificing everything you have.”

In the face of apparent retaliation by the National Basketball Association (NBA), Freedom has stood tall, stuck to his values, and continued to use his platform to be a bulwark against censorship, suppression, and tyrannical government. 

Freedom’s NBA career looked a little different than fellow basketball stars. After 11 years, his time on the court started to dwindle after he started speaking out and advocating against China’s government and human rights violations. 

Freedom debuted his infamous “Anti-CCP” shoe collection during the 2021 season, while playing center for the Boston Celtics. Shortly after, the Celtics games were abruptly banned in China and Turkey. Coincidence? Freedom doesn’t think so. In February 2022 Freedom was traded from the Boston Celtics to the Houston Rockets, who inevitably waived him. 

Despite the circumstances, Freedom is living up to his name — continuing to inspire others throughout the world to join his ranks in the fight for freedom, equal rights, and limited government.

Amber Schwartz, executive vice president at Independent Women’s Forum, said, “Mr. Freedom is such an inspirational and fearless defender of freedom and human rights. He reminds Americans how people around the world lack rights that we too often take for granted. He has denounced tyranny and the oppressive regimes in Turkey and China at a tremendous personal sacrifice. In this he follows the tradition of America’s founding fathers and encourages young people around the world to remember that there are causes that one must be willing to champion, even if it comes at an immense cost. We thank him for his example and look forward to celebrating him in October.” 

Since its founding in 1992, IWF has emerged as the nation’s top women’s organization dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. 

This year marks IWF’s 18th Annual Awards Gala. The event will take place on Wednesday, October 25th at The Waldorf Astoria in Washington, D.C. Additional 2023 honorees include Libs of TikTok creator Chaya Raichik and New York Post and Fox News contributor Miranda Devine

A complete list of previous award recipients may be found HERE.

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Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.