News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by A Martínez
Airs Weekdays 2 to 3 p.m.

Sports Roundup: how will the sports world be affected by the travel ban?




MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 22: Luol Deng #9 of the Los Angeles Lakers passes around Josh McRoberts #4 of the Miami Heat during a game  at American Airlines Arena on December 22, 2016 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 22: Luol Deng #9 of the Los Angeles Lakers passes around Josh McRoberts #4 of the Miami Heat during a game at American Airlines Arena on December 22, 2016 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Listen to story

08:29
Download this story 4MB

President Trump's travel ban bars entry into the U.S. from seven countries. Since he signed it Friday night we've seen and heard how emotional the reaction has been.

When it came down, a lot of us who are sports geeks began to wonder about athletes and how they might be affected. And they have been.

Here's a for instance: Americans J.P. Prince and Joseph Jones are a couple of pro basketball players in Iran. They've been denied re-entry to the country in retaliation and they're now stranded in Dubai.

There are other examples, and lots of questions, for more A Martinez was joined by sports brothers, Andy and Brian Kamenetzky.

Interview Highlights

Brian, you were at the Lakers game last night. You heard from Luol Deng and what he thinks about everything that's going down.

"He sent out a tweet, I believe it was yesterday, that had a statement about his pride in being a refugee and he expanded on those comments yesterday after the game at Staples center. He was very careful to couch his response as non-political. He didn't want to pick a side...what he was really trying to do was explain his perspective as a refugee. 

He's from South Sudan, as a refugee first went to Egypt and then eventually was resettled in the United Kingdom. He is a dual citizen between South Sudan and the U.K. And so he talked about what that was and not knowing where your family might be from one day to the next and hoping for the opportunity to go anywhere that is safe..."

President Obama was such a sports fan and it seemed like, especially with African American athletes in this country, they seem very comfortable being themselves with him in the White House and I'm wondering, does that change now?

"Actually, I don't think it does. If anything I think you're going to see more African American athletes feeling, not only already empowered to speak out, but I think they're going to feel the onus to do it...and I just feel like the times that we're in right now and also I think athletes realizing that they can speak out, without losing their brand. Without damaging their image. I think if anything, we're going to see more of it."

Now, on the flip side America is made up of people with different opinions, there are people who support Donald Trump all over the place and I'm sure athletes too. But maybe they're not so inclined to say anything. Case and point: Tom Brady.

"...I think it matters that he's a white quarterback, I think it matters that he is...I think it's fair to say...a conservative. One of the things that I find fascinating about this rise in activism and the types of things that Andy was talking about, is how it will play out across different sports and how sports fans will perceive it. The NBA which I think has been the most active, where you see the most synergy between the league, coaches and players, is obviously...a diverse league, dominated by African American athletes but it also appeals to a demographic that tends to be younger and also more diverse. The NFL I think inside locker rooms has that same kind of racial make up...politically you probably have more democratic voters than republicans but the culture that surrounds the NFL is far more conservative than the NBA. Baseball, it all swings towards the right..."

To hear the full segment, click the blue play button above. 



You care about today's news. And you're not alone.

Join others who support independent journalism.