The NBA community was deeply saddened and troubled by President Donald Trump’s self-described ban on immigrants and refuges from Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Raptors All-Star guard Kyle Lowry called it “bull—-,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy described the ban as “scary” and both Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich offered their always-poignant view on the President’s executive order.
The ban had an unique impact on Bucks rookie Thon Maker and Lakers veteran Luol Deng as both players hail from Sudan. Not wanting Maker and Deng to be restricted from playing in Toronto or in any games outside of the country, the NBA reached out to the State Department for clarification.
“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,” an NBA spokesman said in a release. “The NBA is a global league, and we are proud to attract the very best players from around the world.”
The whole situation is not sitting well with Deng, who as he tweeted out on Monday, is a proud refugee:
Deng shared more about his thoughts on the ban and his life as a refugee with the media after the Lakers defeated the Nuggets 120-116 on Tuesday.
From the Los Angeles Times‘ Tania Ganguli:
“We’ve never really asked to leave my homeland, and a lot of these people go through a lot of things that they have no control of,” Deng said. “To really to see a light at the end of the tunnel and to go towards that light and then that light is turned off is very difficult, not just individually, for the family.
“I remember when I was a kid as a refugee in Egypt every day there was always a hope that we get to leave tomorrow or get to go somewhere. Never knew where, we just wanted somewhere where we wanted an opportunity to make something out of it, and that opportunity came five years later. Now I’m thankful for growing up in Egypt and I’ve learned a lot. But at the same time, I know what it feels like to wait for that opportunity to come every day.”
“If you really want to look into that, you’ve got to go into facts and what is true and what is not,” Deng said. “I mean, from what I understand, I haven’t seen a lot of refugees committing terrorist acts in this country.”
“I understand [a refugee’s experience] because I went through it,” Deng said. “People that are around me know it, because we speak about it and we do talk about it. The same time, I do understand when you’re told something that’s not true and you’re told to believe other things, I understand the fear and your reaction coming out of it. If somebody told me a story and that’s all I know, I’d probably act to what I’m hearing. … I don’t know what the solution is to it, but a lot of people that do support this [travel ban] are supporting it because of what they hear and what they believe also.”
Deng and others from the NBA community will likely keep speaking out against the President’s ban as long as it remains in place.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Former refugee Loul Deng speaks out on Trump’s travel and immigration ban