An executive order signed by President Donald Trump, which temporarily banned some people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States, has spurred reactions from people all around the world. That has extended to the sports landscape, as USWNT co-captain Becky Sauerbrunn is the latest athlete to speak out against the plan. The defender condemned the executive order in an email to Stars and Stripes FC, calling it “un-American.”
Soccer, more often than not, helps to unite the world, what this Muslim ban is doing is dividing it. Separating “Us” and “Them” to another degree, adding more division to a country that already struggles with race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender. When I represent my country on the field I do so with heartfelt gratitude to the people who fight for and defend our fundamental freedoms—to believe in whatever I want, to love whoever I want, and to be a valued member of society while doing so. That’s the America I play for. I play for the America that embraces refugees from war-torn nations, for the America that welcomes all people who want the chance to experience the American Dream, for the America that appreciates the contributions from all the people it shelters. This Muslim ban is un-American—a betrayal of the values that make this country great. We can, we must be, we are better than this.
U.S. Soccer has not released a statement regarding the executive order, however federation president Sunil Gulati said that he supported Bradley and any other player’s right to express their opinion on the matter.