Sports world weighs in on Trump immigration policy – USA TODAY
Two American basketball players are unable to rejoin their team in Iran due to the countryâs response to Donald Trumpâs immigration ban, according to Chris Mannix of The Vertical.
The NBA continues to seek clarification from the U.S. Department of State about how President Trumpâs executive order suspending immigration and visas for citizens fromÂ Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen impacts its players.
The order has led to uncertainty and anxiety in the world of sports.
âWe have reached out to the State Department and are in the process of gathering information to understand how this executive order would apply to players in our league who are from one of the impacted countries,â NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement. âThe NBA is a global league and we are proud to attract the very best players from around the world.â
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Los Angeles Lakers forward Luol Deng and Milwaukee Bucks rookie Thon Maker were born in Sudan (now South Sudan), and residents from Sudan have been banned entry into the United States for three months, according to the order.
South Sudan is not on the list but it is unclear if South Sudanese born in Sudan are subject to the ban..
Deng is also a British citizen, and Maker has dual citizenship in Australia and South Sudan. The Bucks played the Toronto Raptors on Friday, and Maker had no issue clearing customs using his Australian passport upon his return to the United States though Canada.
The Bucks and Lakers do not play in Toronto the rest of the season.
The executive order had an impact on Americans playing in Iranâs top pro league, according to Yahoo Sports. Joseph Jones and J.P. Prince are stranded in Dubai after Iran banned U.S. citizens entry into Iran in response to Trumpâs executive order.
“Sad and embarrassed”
Michael Bradley, who has scored 15 goals as the captain of the U.S. menâs national soccer team, took to twitter and said he was âsad and embarrassedâ about Trumpâs travel ban.
Like a lot of people, Bradley was hoping that once in office, Trump wouldnât be the same person he was when he was trying to become president.
âWhen Trump was elected, I only hoped President Trump would be different than the campaigner Trump. That the xenophobic, misogynistic and narcissistic rhetoric would be replaced with a more humble and measured approach to leading our country. I was wrong. And the Muslim ban is just the latest example of someone who couldnât be more out of touch with our country and the right way to move forward.â
“Trumps seems to have made me an alien”
Mo Farah, the British middle distance runner who has won four Olympic gold medals, is originally from Sumalia, one of the countries from which travel to the U.S. is banned.
After the executive order was signed, Farah explained on Facebook his dismay over what has transpired.
âOn 1st January this year, Her Majesty The Queen made me a Knight of the Realm. On 27th January, President Donald Trump seems to have made me an alien.
âI am a British citizen who has lived in America for the past six years – working hard, contributing to society, paying my taxes and bringing up our four children in the place they now call home. Now, me and many others like me are being told that we may not be welcome. Itâs deeply troubling that I will have to tell my children that Daddy might not be able to come home – to explain why the President has introduced a policy that comes from a place of ignorance and prejudice.
âI was welcomed into Britain from Somalia at eight years old and given the chance to succeed and realise (sic) my dreams. I have been proud to represent my country, win medals for the British people and receive the greatest honour (sic) of a knighthood. My story is an example of what can happen when you follow polices of compassion and understanding, not hate and isolation.â
Olympic runner Mo Farah says President Trump’s restrictive immigration plan has made him an outsider in America.
“Itâs not a dictatorship”
There are several players from Sudan or South Sudan on American college and high school rosters, including 7-1 sophomore center Chol Marial from Cheshire (Conn.).
Marial is ranked No. 3 in the Class of 2019 by ESPN. Heâs also from South Sudan, an area that is potentially subject to Donald Trumpâs temporary ban on the entry of non-U.S. citizens.
Marial, a Dinka tribesman like Manute Bol, grew up in the capital city of Juba, a region ravaged for decades by ethnic civil war. South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 and the majority of its people are Christians, not Muslims.
Now in his second year at Cheshire Academy, Marial came to the United States as an eighth-grader and enrolled at West Oaks Academy in Orlando. A middle-schoolÂ player by age, he played on the varsity team and became a YouTube sensation thanks to his highlight videos.
Marial, now 17, has dominated the New England prep basketball circuit since and his coach has said Marial could be top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Asked whether he was concerned about how the presidentâs executive order could impact Marial, Cheshire coach Kevin Kehoe told USA TODAY Sports on Sunday: âWhy would I be worried? I live in the United States of America.â
Kehoe pointed to the federal judgeâs ruling in New York that blocked part of the executive order, preventing authorities from removing individuals from the seven countries who had arrived in airports in the U.S. after the executive order was issued.
âWhat Donald Trump signed has nothing to do with Chol Marial,â Kehoe said. âAs much as people donât want to believe it, this is still a democracy. Itâs not a dictatorship. Donnie can sign whatever he wants, but this is still the United States of America.â
Marial and Cheshire will be back on the court Wednesday against The MacDuffie School (Granby, Mass.).
“This is exactly from the playbook of hatred and divisiveness”
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Ryan Harris, who converted to Islam in his youth and previously spoke out against Trump for anti-Muslim rhetoric, told The Denver Post on Sunday he was disheartened by the executive order.
“This is exactly from the playbook of hatred and divisiveness,” Harris said. “But I believe, and others I spend my time with, believe in the love of another human being and continue to support others who are marginalized.â
WNBA star joins the protest
U.S. in Iran?
U.S. wrestlers have qualified for a Freestyle World Cup scheduled in Tehran, Iran on Feb. 16-17.
Thereâs no update from USA Wrestling on whether Trumpâs policy will have an impact on the Americans competing in the event.
Contributing: Josh Barnett, Roxanna Scott, Jason Jordan,Â Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, Nina Mandell.
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