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The latest executive order signed by Donald Trump, which has effectively banned travel for Muslims with any interest in returning to America, has sparked backlash from both sides of the aisle. Protests sprung up at JFK and other major airports across America, and even some Republicans in Congress have called out the new president for what they see as an un-constitutional act.
People of various backgrounds have been detained upon reentry almost immediately following the order, and the legislation has the chance to impact everyone from children to military interpreters who assisted the U.S. during the Iraq War.
In the world of sports, athletes from various backgrounds have already started to speak out against the ban, showing a united front against the controversial order:
The ban threatens to impact the sports world more than you might think. While NBA players Luol Deng and Thon Maker are technically from South Sudan, they fled their country of birth before the country split in 2011. Dual-citizens are at risk of being detained, so neither Maker's Australian citizenship or Deng's British citizenship would be enough to prevent potential issues. It's now unclear whether they'd be able to join a road trip with their respective teams to Toronto, and thankfully both the Bucks and Lakers have already completed this season's games in Canada.
With NBA fans fearing Maker might be kept out of the country—the Bucks just played in Toronto on Friday night—concerned citizens reached out to members of the Bucks to see if their rookie big man was able to make it back okay. Bucks VP Alex Lasry confirmed he was with the team, and expressed his regret at the new legislation:
With innocent citizens being detained at airports nationwide simply because they happen to be from a specific country of origin, the human impact of this legislation has already been put on display. There may be implications for athletes and their respective sports, but those speaking out appear to be concerned primarily with the message Trump's order sends to the most vulnerable among us. There's never been an easier time for public figures to make their voices heard, and it's encouraging to see some of them using their platform to talk about this important issue.
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