10 NBA Players and Coaches Who Dunked on Donald Trump's Muslim Ban
Few American professional sports rely as heavily on the global community as the NBA. Nearly a quarter of the league this season is foreign born, and many are making their voices heard about President Trump's racist executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Here are 10 of the more pointed critcisms from players and coaches.
1. Kyle Lowry
“I think it’s absolutely bullsh*t” the Raptors point guard said. “I bleed red, white, and blue. I was born and raised there. I have always been taught to treat everyone the same. It’s a difficult time for my country right now and it’s sad.”
2. Stan Van Gundy
“We're getting into the days of now we're judging people by their religion, trying to keep Muslims out....None of those seven nations have been responsible for an American death, but we're barring everybody," the Detroit Pistons coach said.
He also slammed Trump for playing to people's fears and resurrecting America's dark history.
"We're getting back to the days of putting the Japanese in relocation camps and Hitler registering the Jews. That's where we're headed," Van Gundy warned. "And it's just fear-mongering and playing to a certain base of people that have some built-in prejudices that aren't fair.”
3. Dwane Casey
The Raptors head coach viewed the ban as a throwback to a shameful era.
“It’s scary because it kind of reminds you about what happened back in the ’60s, when I was growing up,” the Morganfield, Kentucky native said. “Even though it’s different issues, it resembles that in a lot of different ways. A little bit more sophisticated, but it’s similar. And it’s a slippery slope. For every action, there’s a cause and effect and a reaction by other people, so we have to be careful."
"Again, I’m a U.S. citizen, a proud U.S. citizen," he added. "But we have to be careful how we’re handling our business in the States.”
4. Steve Kerr
“I would just say that 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, [it’s] really going against what the principles of what our country’s about and creating fear," said the Warriors head coach. "It’s the wrong way to go about it. If anything, we could be breeding anger and terror and so I’m completely against what’s happening.”
The Golden State Warriors head coach and six-time National Basketball Association champion was honored by the Armenian National Committee of America Western Region with the 2016 ANCA-WR Humanitarian Award for his relief work during and after the Armenian genocide.
5. Luol Deng
President Trump's refugee ban resonated deeply with the two-time NBA All-Star, who fled South Sudan as a child and later settled in the United Kingdom with his family.
“I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for the opportunity to find refuge in a safe harbor," the Lakers forward said. "For the people of South Sudan, refugee resettlement has saved countless lives, just as it has for families all over the world escaping the depths of despair."
6. Mike Bass
According to a statement by the NBA spokesman, the NBA contacted the State Department immediately after Trump's executive order was announced concerning the effect it could have on players from the affected countries.
"The NBA is a global league and we are proud to attract the very best players from around the world," Bass said. Milwaukee Bucks rookie Thon Maker, for example, was born in Sudan — which along with Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, is affected by Trump's order.
7. Masai Ujiri
"I am finding it difficult to really like absorb some of this stuff, from the ban to everything that's going on," the president of the Toronto Raptors said. "Being somebody that travels around the world and you meet a lot of people, especially youth that I deal with and work with around the world, I think it's just ridiculous what's going on out there."
He was also quick to point out that the NBA hosts a basketball camp in South Sudan.
"I don't know when you go and do those things, or even in Basketball Without Borders, we have kids that come from all over the world—so what does that mean?" Ujiri asked. "That we're lying to these kids when we say we are giving them hope or are teaching them or are going to help them grow or give them opportunity? We're outright lying to them now."
8. Enes Kanter
The Thunder center expressed his shock via Twitter on Sunday.
I am still in disbelief about the #MuslimBan 'NO' human should be discriminated for their Race, Religion or Ethnicity. #WeAreAmerica— Enes Kanter (@Enes Kanter)1485664518.0
9. Rondae Hollis Jefferson
The Nets forward slammed the ban as "inhumane."
People can say what they want, but being denied ACCESS to see your grandchild graduate or to go back to your country is inhumane. #MuslimBan— R.HollisJefferson (@R.HollisJefferson)1485666181.0
10. Breanna Stewart
The WNBA Seattle Storm forward responded to the ban by attending her first protest.
My first protest was really inspiring - to be alongside such a diverse group of people who care about other humans!… https://t.co/THgd88o7fx— Breanna Stewart (@Breanna Stewart)1485736051.0