Luol Deng critical of President Trump's travel and immigration ban

ByBaxter Holmes ESPN logo
Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Los Angeles Lakers forward Luol Deng, who was born in South Sudan, posted a statement on his verified Twitter account Monday in the wake of President Donald Trump's temporary immigration ban on non-American citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.

"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 began. "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."

Like Milwaukee Bucks rookie forward Thon Maker, Deng was born in Wau, Sudan, which became part of an independent South Sudan in 2011. Sudan is one of the seven banned countries, along with Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

Deng fled the Sudan for Egypt and then the UK. He became a British citizen in 2006.

"It's important that we remember to humanize the experience of others," Deng wrote in his statement. "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."

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, who was born in Philadelphia, was asked Mondayabout the temporary ban.

"I think it's bulls---," Lowry told reporters. "I think it's absolute bulls---."

Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson told azcentral sports Monday that the ban is "un-American," echoing the way Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has described the executive order.

"I think it's un-American," Watson said. "I think it's unconstitutional. I think it's ridiculous. And I think we can be better than that."

Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy took things a step further in his criticism of Trump's ban, comparing it to Japanese internment and Hitler's treatment of Jews.

"It's starting to get really, really scary stuff now," said Van Gundy. "We're getting into the days of, now we're judging people by their religion -- trying to keep Muslims out. We're getting back to the days of, you know, putting the Japanese in relocation camps, and Hitler registering the Jews.''

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