Steve Kerr, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Luol Deng resent Trump's travel ban

By Alex Butler  |  Updated Jan. 31, 2017 at 2:32 PM
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Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Luol Deng came to the United Kingdom as a child from South Sudan.

Now he's a highly paid professional athlete, playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. He is still a citizen of both countries.

On Tuesday, he spoke about President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban. The ban is on non-American citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, including: Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. Milwaukee Bucks forward Thon Maker was also born in Wau, Sudan.

"I am a #ProudRefugee," Deng wrote on Twitter.

"I would not be where I am today if it weren't for the opportunity to find refuge in a safe harbor," Deng's statement 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."

As the Los Angeles Times' Tania Ganguli pointed out, "Deng isn't affected by immigration ban. His citizenship is South Sudanese & British. Sudan is banned, not South Sudan."

"It's important that we remember to humanize the experience of others. Refugees overcome immeasurable odds, relocate across the globe, and work hard to make the best of their newfound home," Deng wrote. "Refugees are productive members of society that want for their family just as you want for yours. I stand by all refugees and migrants, of all religions, just as I stand by the policies that have historically welcomed them."

Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul reposted Deng's message with the caption: "#BiggerThanBasketball."

Paul's friend and New York Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony voiced his support for Lyft Monday, after the company donated $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union. The company emailed its customers, saying: "Banning people of a particular faith or creed, race or identity, sexuality or ethnicity, from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft's and our nation's core values.We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community."

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, whose father was killed by a terrorist, also spoke of his disagreement for the travel ban.

"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, by really going against the principles of what our country is about and creating fear, it's the wrong way of going about it," Kerr told reporters Sunday. "If anything, we could be breeding anger and terror. So I'm completely against what's happening."

Malcolm Kerr, the former president of the American University of Beirut, was assassinated in 1984.

"I think it's shocking," Kerr told reporters. "It's a horrible idea. I feel for all the people that are affected. Families are being torn apart, and I worry in the big picture what this means to the security of the world. It's going about it completely opposite. You want to solve terror, you want to solve crime, this is not the way to do it."

The NBA is "investigating" the potential impact of the U.S. travel order has on the league.

Trump's executive order banned all refugees from entering the United States for 120 days, banned Syrian refugees indefinitely and banned entry for people from seven mostly Muslim countries for 90 days.

"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."

Michel Roberts, the National Basketball Players Association executive director, tweeted: "We are already on it. #PlayersFirst #NoHate."

The NBA recruits players from Sudan with its Basketball Without Borders Program.

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