Concern quickly spread throughout the world when on Friday, President Trump signed an executive order to enforce a 90-day ban on entry to the United States for citizens of 7 Muslim-majority countries.
The news particularly hit home for the NBA, which features several “high-profile” Muslim athletes, including Atlanta Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder and Thunder big man Enes Kanter, who took to social media to express his feelings in light of the recent news.
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) 29 January 2017
The Bucks, who were due to return from a road trip north of the border in Toronto had immediate concerns as to the situation surrounding Maker after the announcement, with friends and family left wondering if the 7-foot rookie would be denied access to return to his home in Wisconsin. Maker, who left his home in Wau, Sudan in 2002 travels under an Australian passport and like Deng has dual-citizenship.
The following is from the Los Angeles Times.
“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.”
Mark Cuban and Kyle Lowry are among individuals around the league to publicly blast the decision by President Trump. The outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner suggested that instead of bringing the country together, Trump was “doing the exact opposite right now.”
NBA takes pride in the fact that it features players from several different countries and religions. On opening night, there was a record 113 international players on team rosters.
It is expected that although part of the ban has been temporarily blocked by the ACLU, the players and coaches around the league will take part in some sort of demonstration or protest, as they have done previously to address social and global issues.