Press Box: the sports world reacts to Trump’s immigration order

Illustration by Iain Duffus
Illustration by Iain Duffus
Illustration by Iain Duffus

“Land of the free, home of the brave.”… unless you’re a refugee or a citizen from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

On Friday Feb. 3, the State Department reversed the visa revocations that allows banned travelers to enter the United States after a federal judge in Washington state temporarily blocked enforcement of the ban.

President Donald Trump issued an executive order last week that barred Syrian refugees from entering the United States for 120 days and blocked citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, refugees or otherwise, from entering the United States for 90 days.

The “Muslim ban” was issued following a year representing a triumph of visibility for Muslim athletes.

British distance runner Mo Farah, born in Somalia, won two Olympic gold medals in the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics.

Saber fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad is the first Muslim-American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States. Muhammad won bronze as part of the team competition, becoming remarkably the first Muslim-American woman to win a medal at the Olympics.

27-year-old wide receiver Mohamed Sanu of the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons emerged this season as a critical target for quarterback Matt Ryan.

Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabba became a prominent voice for the Democratic party during the election cycle.

Following the enactment, athletes, coaches and CEOs used their unique platform to speak out on the issue, defending the rights of their players, teammates and employees. Here’s what they had to say:

“Regardless of whether or how you worship, where you come from or who you love, everyone’s individual experience is what make us stronger as a whole…this is a policy we don’t support.”

-Mark Parker, Nike CEO

“Freedom and liberty packing up their things…”

-Steve Nash, former NBA point guard

“As an American, sorry to everyone affected by the #MuslimBan … this is foreal gettin out of control #teamACLU”

-Jeremy Lin, Brooklyn Nets point guard

“We are extremely disappointed by the ban and feel strongly that it runs counter to the values of inclusiveness that define us as a nation.”

– Bob Foose, MLS union chief

“‘Muslim equals Terror.’ ‘Islam equals Radicalism.’ Those words have become synonymous with one another in this country. That’s what we’ve been fed since 9/11. We have to unlearn some things. And to paint two billion people with the same brush is causing Americans anxiety and an unwarranted headache.”      

-Husain Abdullah, former NFL safety                         

“I appreciate all the fans’ concerns and prayers for Thon (Maker) and today, a Sudanese refugee who fled oppression and is an incredible young man will make his second NBA start. I’m incredibly excited and proud of him. He’s a symbol of what makes America great and all immigrants believe about America. …We must continue to share the stories of incredible immigrants and refugees who make America GREAT.”

-Alexander Lasry, Milwaukee Bucks’ senior vice-president


Sophia Belletti. Photo by Julie TrippSophia Belletti
Sophia is a junior journalism major pursuing a minor in gender, sexuality and women’s studies. She enjoys writing about current events and sports, and hopes to one day be a sports reporter covering soccer, basketball and/or baseball. You can usually find Sophia drinking way too much coffee and laughing at her own jokes.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply