President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order banning immigrant and non-immigrant entry from seven countries has resulted in nationwide protests. The order banned those living in Sudan, Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Syria entry into the United States as those seven countries have large Muslim populations. Individuals from those countries that were flying into the United States during the signing of the order were instantly detained in airports all across the country and only a handful were granted entry into the country after being released.
Two NBA players – Thon Maker of the Milwaukee Bucks and Luol Deng of the Los Angeles Lakers – are Sudanese and now the NBA is reaching out to the U.S. State Department to see how the ban may affect both players.
The league has never dealt with a situation quite like this before and now sport managers with the Bucks and Lakers, along with those in the NBA league office, are working with the government to make sure Maker and Deng don’t get stopped upon entrance into the country. This story applies to sports management because those working for these specific teams and the league in general need to find a way to prevent future issues like this from occuring while still adhering to the President’s order.
With one of the league’s 30 franchises located outside the United States (the Toronto Raptors), there was concern that Deng and Maker would not be allowed back into the U.S. after a road game in Toronto. In fact, the Bucks were in Toronto last night when the executive order was placed into effect, but an NBA spokseman confirmed that Maker was allowed re-entry into the U.S. Saturday with the rest of his team.
The ban has been highly criticized and plenty of NBA players and coaches have spoken out against it. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who was born and raised in Lebanon, called the ban “shocking and highly offensive” and that it “could be breeding angor and terror.” Others have taken to Twitter and other social media websites to voice their feelings about the ban.