For Los Angeles Lakers forward Luol Deng, President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting travel on immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries hit home. Deng was born in South Sudan, and his family fled as refugees when he was a child, eventually settling in the United Kingdom.
Deng took to Twitter on Monday, posting a message in support of “refugees and migrants of all religions”:
“I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for the opportunity to find refuge in a safe harbor. 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.
“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. 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.”
The NBA has looked for clarification regarding travel for players from the countries on the ban list – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. South Sudan is technically not on the list, since it gained independence from Sudan in 2011, but Bucks rookie forward Thon Maker is also from that country, and the NBA wants to make sure the two players — and potential other future players — don’t run into travel problems.
“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.”