With the executive order issued by President Donald Trump, effectively banning the entry of Muslims into the United States, many are clueless as to what the future holds. It turns out that such confusion even extends to the sports world.
UFC fighter Gegard Mousasi is of Iranian descent, although he grew up in the Netherlands after fleeing Iran as a child. Mousasi is set to fight former middleweight champ Chris Weidman on April, 8, in Buffalo, New York. With the uncertainty surrounding Muslims, namely those from the seven select nations listed in the ban (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) and even green card carrying immigrants, only time will tell if the fight will go off as planned.
Mousasi is a Christian and holds Dutch citizenship, but still has his concerns, as he indicated in an interview with Telesport:
I have the Dutch nationality, but I also have a visa,” Mousasi said. “But even with a visa you get in trouble, I heard. I’ll hear more about it this week though. The UFC lawyers are busy, and the people who arrange the visas are too. So it is not in my hands. My job is to train and get ready for the game. It’s just annoying.”
“This [ban] is not the right direction. There seems to me a bit too much turmoil in the world, and this is certainly not a positive way. For years there were working relationships between countries, and now with Trump, there go all the years that worked for peace. I think he’s a bit of an arrogant guy, he does things his way, but I think he has little understanding of politics. I’ll wait for this week, and stay quiet in training, which is also good for my next fight.”
Former Olympic wrestler and current American mixed martial artist Sara McMann also went public regarding the Muslim ban, posting a picture on Instagram of her wearing a hijab as a display of solidarity.
I am wearing this hijab to show support for the Muslim communities who are facing unconstitutional discrimination in this country. I am Christian and if I faced persecution for wearing a cross, I would feel devastated. This is our First Amendment in our Constitution and I am very proud of the diversity in our country. I am sure this picture will give me a taste of the ignorant stereotypes that the Muslim men and women who are in this country face. This is my "safety pin" equivalent. ❤❤❤. http://www.clatl.com/news/article/20850427/antimuslim-encounter-in-east-atlanta-goes-viral 👏👏👏(this is what I'm talking about!!)
Considering UFC President Dana White’s tight relationship with President Trump, it’s currently uncertain as to what will happen to Mousasi and possibly other fighters. But for now, it seems that everything will be business as usual.