U.S. soccer captain criticizes Trump travel ban, says he is ‘sad and embarrassed’

U.S. captain criticizes Trump travel ban

TORONTO — U.S. soccer captain Michael Bradley says he is “sad and embarrassed” by President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

Bradley, who is also Toronto FC’s skipper, took to Instagram to add to comments made earlier in an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl. 

“After 15 minutes of an interview that was centered around soccer and our national team, he asked me about my thoughts on President Trump’s ban of Muslims,” Bradley wrote in his verified account.

“A very fair question. But one that caught me totally off guard. Uncomfortable giving such strong thoughts without really being able to think them through, I gave an answer where I tried to make it clear that while I understand the need for safety, the values and ideals of our country should never be sacrificed.

“I believe what I said, but it was too soft. The part I left out is how sad and embarrassed I am.”

Trump’s executive order suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocked entry into the U.S. for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

“When Trump was elected, I only hoped that the President Trump would be different than the campaigner Trump,” Bradley wrote. “That the xenophobic, misogynistic and narcissistic rhetoric would be replaced with a more humble and measured approach to leading our country.

“I was wrong. And the Muslim ban is just the latest example of someone who couldn’t be more out of touch with our country and the right way to move forward.”

Bradley won his 127th cap for the U.S. on Sunday in a 0-0 draw with Serbia in a friendly at San Diego.

In the immediate aftermath of Trump’s election win, Bradley had talked about Americans getting behind the new president.

“The results may not be what every person wanted — some people are happy, others aren’t — but the way forward is to come together and give our new president support and rally behind him.”

New England Revolution forward Kei Kamara, who came to the U.S. as a teenager as a refugee from Sierra Leone, also took to social media in the wake of the travel ban.

“I was a Muslim refugee (2000) and a Muslim citizen today (2017)….This is the UNITED States of America ???? #UnitedWeStand #MeltingPot #NoMuslimBan,” he said in a social media posting next to a montage of multicultural faces.

Toronto FC said Steven Beitashour, an American-born fullback who plays internationally for his parents’ homeland of Iran, had no issues flying to California on Saturday for the next leg of the MLS team’s training camp.

Toronto president Bill Manning said Beitashour is a U.S. citizen and as such is not affected by the Trump executive order.

While MLS has players from 61 countries, none were born in the seven countries affected by the Trump order.

Columbus midfielder Justin Meram was born in the U.S. but plays internationally for Iraq.


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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Canadian Press