The sports world is not here for President Trump’s ban on immigration. His executive order barring entry for people born in seven predominantly Muslim countries has struck out with athletes including Kyle Lowry, the Philly born Toronto Raptors point guard who called it ‘bullsh*t’ in a frank assessment of the xenophobic order.
— Mark Sheldon (@markdsheldon) January 30, 2017
The president’s executive order–which effectively bans travel to the United States for green card and visa holders, immigrants and refugees from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia for a 90-day period–has caused widespread condemnation of the ban from athletes and prominent members of the international sports community.
The ban could threaten the chance for Los Angeles to host the Summer Olympic games in 2024, and at least one International Olympic Committee member, Richard Peterkin, has spoken out since the news broke. Peterkin called the ban “totally contrary to Olympic ideals.”
An IOC member speaks. Trump's decision on immigration / refugees may have handed Paris a major advantage in race to host 2024 Olympics. https://t.co/8iWCRjmqDK
— Richard Conway (@richard_conway) January 28, 2017
The executive order could have a big impact on athletes on U.S. sports teams, including Sudanese-born NBA players like Los Angeles Lakers small forward Luol Deng and Milwaukee Bucks power forward/center Thon Maker, MLS American-born players with family ties to the countries on the list and Olympic runner Mo Farah.
So if the Lakers play a road game in Toronto they have to leave Luol Deng behind because he was born in Sudan and has U.K. citizenship?
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) January 28, 2017
Both Deng and Maker were born in Sudan, but fled their region of Wau before it became a part of South Sudan. The order is not expected to affect Deng at this time, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Born in Somalia. One of the world's greatest runners. Knighted. Now banned from our country. https://t.co/md32pY3Rjq
— Kit Fox (@kitfoxrw) January 28, 2017
The NBA’s Basketball Without Borders camp was slated to be in New Orleans for the 2017 All-Star weekend in February, but that could be in jeopardy considering players from 25 different countries have participated in past years.
Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry called the ban “bulls—,” while Brooklyn Nets point guard Jeremy Lin said that things were getting “out of control.”
Farah wrote a Facebook post outlining the fear he now feels as a Somalian athlete with a U.K. citizenship living in the United States.
“I 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,” Farah said in the post. “Now, me and many others like me are being told that we may not be welcome. It’s 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.”
Athletes from various sports and backgrounds have spoken out on social media against President Trump’s ban:
Freedom and liberty packing up their things…
— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) January 28, 2017
@GelarBudidarma my fam immigrated from Germany in 1700s escaping religious persecution. America is created by immigrants.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) January 29, 2017
Our diversity makes our country strong 🇺🇸 #NoBanNoWall
— Ibtihaj Muhammad (@IbtihajMuhammad) January 29, 2017
It's a tough day when u find out that so many ppl that u thought were fans or friends really hate u and everything u believe in.
— Nazr Mohammed (@NazrMohammed) January 28, 2017
— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) January 29, 2017