Athletes speak out in shock at Trump ban on Muslims30 January 2017

AgrowingnumberofAmericanathleteshavespokenagainstthebanonindividualsfromsomeMuslimcountriestravelingtotheUSannouncedbyPresidentDonaldTrumpovertheweekend.

They include four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah who lives in Portland with his family and is originally from Somalia, he said, “Trump’s refugee ban comes from a place of ignorance and prejudice”. Oklahoma City Thunder player Eners Kanter, born in Switzerland to Turkish parents, expressed his concern by tweeting “Make America Kind Again” before saying, “I am still in disbelief about the Muslim-Ban, No human should be discriminated for their Race, Religion or Ethnicity”.

Olympic fencing medallist Ibtihaj Muhammad who represented USA in Rio 2016 said, “Our diversity makes our country strong”. The legendary NBA centre Kareem Abdul-Jabbar described Trump’s decision as “cruel and dim-witted”, while San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich described it as “Keystone Cops and that’s scary”.

Athletes tweeted statements or images making their dissent clear. Steve Nash said it was “Freedom and Liberty packing up their things…”. New England Revolution striker Kei Kamara, himself a refugee from Sierra Leone wrote, “I was a Muslim refugee (2000) and a Muslim citizen today (2017). This is the UNITED States of America. #UnitedWeStand #MeltingPot #NoMuslimBan”.

He was joined by Alex Morgan, the U.S. women’s national team star who has travelled extensively with the 2015 world champions, tweeted: “I am in shock and disbelief. Has history not taught us anything?”

Michael Bradley, the US men’s national team captain wrote on Instagram he was “sad and embarrassed” and Trump is “out of touch with our country and the right way to move forward.” “But ultimately, I truly believe the United States is a country that has always been about welcoming people from all over the world and giving them an opportunity for a better life, an opportunity they otherwise wouldn’t have.”

Bradley spoke after he lead the US national team in a friendly against Serbia played in San Diego and ended in a 0-0 draw. In the same game Darlington Nagbe, a Liberian born refugee, made his first start for the national football team.