The executive order President Donald Trump signed Thursday, which banned travel from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and suspends admission of all refugees for 120 days, drew the ire of the sports world.
Before a federal judge blocked the controversial ban, athletes from a wide spectrum of American athletics have criticized Trump’s decision as an infringement of freedom and American values.
The following statement from NBA spokesman Mike Bass comes via Wojnarowski:
“The National Basketball Association has contacted the State Department to understand how President Donald Trump’s executive order to suspend immigration from seven countries could impact the league’s players. The NBA has two active players, including Milwaukee Bucks rookie Thon Maker and Los Angeles Lakers veteran Luol Deng, who have Sudanese roots. The NBA is a global league and we are proud to attract the very best players from around the world.”
Bucks VP Alex Lasry confirmed Maker, the first-round pick who has started to see more significant minutes and has even cracked the starting lineup recently, was able to make it back into the U.S. following the Bucks’ international road trip to Toronto.
As Wojnarowski points out, the NBA has made a concerted effort to recruit and develop players with Sudanese roots. The league’s Basketball Without Borders initiative in particular would be affected by Trump’s desired legislation.
Though the federal judge blocked the order on a temporary stay, this is expected to be a long legal fight.