Following the ban, NFL union vows to protect and support families of Muslim players.

NFL Football Players Association vowed to stand by their Muslim colleagues and support their families against all forms of harassment. This announcement comes after Trump’s ban on immigrants from seven Muslim countries. The NFL Players Association came forward to express its support for Muslim players amidst the chaos and confusion caused by the ban and the openly anti-Muslim rhetoric that has raised high in the U.S., allegedly under Trump.

NFLPA president and Cincinnati Bengals tackle Eric Winston announced at the Super Bowl news conference that the families of the Muslim players are like their own families. Calling the Muslim players as ‘brothers’, he added that the non-Muslim players are going to support them at all times. He declared that at any point, if the families of the Muslim players faced any harassment, they would be there to protect them. For Winston, being part of the Football League is as good as being members of the same family. As such, he made it clear that no discrimination will be tolerated against any team member.

NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith informed that a letter has been sent to the families of the dozen Muslims who play for the NFL assuring them that whenever they need help, the union will always be there. Winston expressed his disappointment about the ban, saying that the country is now turning away from the values that once formed the U.S.

Last week, President Trump issued an order banning immigrants from Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Syria. His decision has been supported by numerous Americans, who say they feel safer now with the ban in place than they felt earlier. Crimes against Muslims and other non-American minorities saw a rise post elections, and most of them have been traced to have a connection with Trump’s white supremacist ideas in one way or the other.

“These guys that are players in the National Football League, their families are our families. And I take that seriously. They’re our brothers and we will stand with them.” -NFLPA President/Cincinnati Bengals Offensive Tackle/Guard Eric Winston February 5, 2017

Winston’s statements of support for Muslim players came after NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, declined to make a statement about the ban. From the statements of the other officials, however, it’s clear that sentiments of religious and cultural unity run high in the NFL union.

Mohamed Sanu, Wide Receiver and only Muslim player for Sunday’s Super Bowl, said the situation was “tough” and he “prays that the U.S. citizens and the people of the world could be united as one.”

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