U.S. Soccer star Michael Bradley, who has taken public stands on political and social issues in the past, blasted President Trump’s executive order temporarily banning citizens from seven predominantly-Muslim countries from entering the United States.
He first expressed his concerns about the ban to Sports Illustrated, and then posted a stronger condemnation on his Instagram account.
It read, in part: “...I gave an answer where I tried to make it clear that while I understand the need for safety, the values and ideals of our country should never be sacrificed. I believe what I said, but it was too soft.
“The part I left out is how sad and embarrassed I am. When Trump was elected, I only hoped that ... 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 couldn’t be more out of touch with our country and the right way to move forward.”
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, whose father, Malcolm Kerr, was murdered in a terrorist attack while serving as president of the American University in Beirut in 1984, also had strong views about the Trump travel ban.
He told reporters: “As someone whose family member was a victim of terrorism, having lost my father. ... If we’re trying to combat terrorism by banishing people from coming to this country by really going against the principles that this country is about and creating fear, it’s the wrong way to go about it. If anything, we could be breeding anger and terror, so I’m completely against what’s happening. I think it’s shocking and a horrible idea and I really feel for all the people who are affected and the families that are being torn apart and I worry in the big picture what this means to the security of the world. He’s going about it completely the opposite — you want to solve terror, you want to solve crime, this is not the way to do it.”
The NBA has a few players who are dual citizens of the affected countries — among them former Miami Heat player Luol Deng, now with the Los Angeles — and league officials were checking to make sure they would not have issues traveling between the United States and Canada. Deng, and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Thon Maker, were born in Sudan.
“We 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,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement. “The NBA is a global league and we are proud to attract the very best players from around the world.”
The Major League Soccer Players Union on Monday released the following statement by executive director Bob Foose:
“We are deeply concerned, both specifically for our players who may be impacted, and more broadly for all people who will suffer as a result of the travel ban implemented on Friday. Details on the practical impact of the ban are still emerging, and we are still sorting through the potential impact on our players and their families. 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. We are very proud of the constructive and measured manner in which Michael Bradley expressed his feelings on the ban. It is our deepest hope that this type of strong and steady leadership will help to guide us through these difficult times.”