Many in the sports world are trying to figure out how President Donald Trump’s ban on immigration will affect their respective sports.
The executive order blocks entry into the United States from seven predominantly Muslim Nations – Syria, Yemen, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan – for 90 days.
It also suspends the entry of all refugees for 120 days and bars Syrian refugees indefinitely.
Over the weekend, sports officials sought to understand the implications of the President’s ban, and whether athletes from the prohibited nations could enter the U.S to compete, especially in the initial 90-day period.
The NBA has already contacted the U.S. Department of State in an effort to deduce how the ban might affect player travel.
“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 out league who are from one of the impacted countries” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said. “The NBA is a global league and we are proud to attract the best best players from around the world.”
(Can I just mention how much I appreciate both the NBA and WNBA for their consistent fight for equality and inclusion and their willingness to stand up for civil rights and social issues?)
Here in Los Angeles, Laker forward Luol Deng finds himself at the center of this mess.
Deng was born in Sudan (now called South Sudan) and fled before the country split in 2011. As noted, Sudan is one of the countries whose inhabitants have been banned from entering the US for three months.
Deng managed to escape the country’s Civil War and travel to Egypt with his father, finally finding asylum in the United Kingdom.
But his is a dual citizen and his British passport do not guarantee re-entry into the US.
Under Trump’s executive order, dual citizens are at risk of being detained and deported upon their return.
Basically, no one knows what the hell is going on.
Meanwhile, the #LA2024 Bid Committee, led by Chairman Casey Wasserman, CEO Gene Sykes, and Mayor Eric Garcetti, is wondering what impact he ban will have on their effects to bring the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games to the city of Los Angeles.
Mayor Garcetti has been very vocal regarding his stance against Trump’s immigration orders. He has let it be known that Los Angeles will continue to accommodate all refugees.
“Los Angeles will always be a place of refuge, where the most vulnerable people fleeing war, or religious political oppression, can find a safe and welcoming home,” Garcetti said.
The International Olympic Committee will meet on September 13th in Lima, Peru, to choose the host city and this immigration ban has no doubt thrown a wrench into LA’s bid.
Richard Perkin, a member of the IOC who will be voting in September for the 2024 host city posted his concern via Twitter that the actions of the President may cause our city to lose out in the bidding.
The stakes are high for athletes and the city of Los Angeles regarding Trump’s new regulation restricting access to America.
And the frustrating part is, we have no idea how this is going to play out or how we should prepare.