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Muslim NFL players respond to Trump: ‘We can’t have this ignorance in office’

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Detroit Lions safety Isa Abdul-Quddus and running back Ameer Abdullah have joined the chorus of criticism against Donald Trump in the wake of the Republican frontrunner’s incendiary proposal to bar all Muslims from entering the US.

Trump’s plan for a “total and complete shutdown” of the country’s borders to Muslims prompted immediate condemnation from across the political spectrum, with fellow presidential contender Jeb Bush denouncing Trump’s comments as “unhinged”. The Lions pair, who are Muslim, spoke eloquently on Wednesday on how Trump “says a lot of things for shock value” but admitted his remarks were “pretty ignorant” and “kind of disappointing”.

Related: Muhammad Ali defends Muslims in response to Donald Trump’s ban plan

Abdul-Quddus said he believes that the percentage of Americans who believe Islam is “evil” is small, and not reflected by Trump’s statements this week. “It was one of those things that … I kind of look at the person before I look at the comment,” Abdul-Quddus said. “Because Trump says a lot of things for shock value to get people to hear him and listen to him, and just to put his face in public.

“I don’t really feel much disrespect when he said that, because he already said he wanted to label us. He wanted to have every [Muslim] have an ID and everything, so I just kind of chalk it up as a guy that’s pretty ignorant.”

But Abdul-Quddus said he is concerned that Trump’s words might fan anti-Muslim sentiment, particularly if his popularity in the polls continues. “That’s the scary part,” Abdul-Quddus said. “I’m just hoping that either he can change his mindset to be a bit more open-minded, or people just realize we can’t have this ignorance in office.”

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Trump has brushed off the horrified reaction to his proposal and remained unrepentant. He told a raucous crowd aboard the USS Yorkstown on Tuesday: “We need a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States while we figure out what the hell is going on.” He acknowleged his words were “probably not politically correct – But. I. Don’t. Care.”

Related: Trump ignores UK critics and claims country has ‘a massive Muslim problem’

Abdullah said of Tump: “He’ll say some things, and the large following that he has – he has a very large following – is kind of disappointing, from my perspective.”

Abdullah, in his first season with the Lions, and Abdul-Quddus, in his second, said they’ve been treated well by people in Detroit, and have not experienced religious bigotry since coming to the NFL. Abdullah, however, said he was called derogatory names growing up in Alabama.

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Abdullah said. “All I do is encourage people to educate themselves before taking a stance, before just listening to someone, before making a judgment or decision on how you should treat a person or talk to a person.

“You can’t control everyone. All you can do is pray for them and hope that one day they’ll realize that everyone’s just people. You got to love everyone, you got to respect everyone and understand that people who make [bad] decisions are their own type of people. It’s a huge difference.”

Abdullah also said he’s more worried about this Sunday’s game against the St Louis Rams than anything Trump has to say.

“I thought it was something that a lot of people wouldn’t really follow or agree with, so I didn’t really give it much attention initially,” he said. “But just looking at it, I know Donald Trump actually has a pretty large following, so it is what it is.”

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015

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2020 Election

Can at least half the 2020 Democrats please quit right now?

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OK, Democrats — you’ve had your fun. You grew up being told that everybody could run for president, and then everybody did. Except that this mad anthill scramble of presidential candidates, which resembles a bunch of kindergarteners descending on not enough cookies, really hasn’t been fun so far. All you’ve managed to do is put the fear of God — or the fear of the other guy, more like — into the voters, provoking widespread PTSD flashbacks to November 2016.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Washington Post drops the hammer on the ‘breathtaking arrogance’ of Kelleyanne Conway in brutal editorial

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Addressing a report from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel recommending White House counsel Kellyanne Conway should be fired for flagrant violations of the Hatch Act, the Washington Post editorial board hammered President Donald Trump's confidante over her smirking response.

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‘Be ashamed’: Anthony Scaramucci’s wife deletes tweet after Soledad O’Brien opens a can of whoop ass on her

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Soledad O'Brien

Soledad O'Brien, a former CNN anchor, clashed with the wife of Trump surrogate Anthony Scaramucci over the weekend.

In a tweet on Friday, O'Brien complained that cable new networks were continuing to book the former White house communications director even though he has little of substance to add to the discussions.

"Why do you guys put this crap on tv?" O'Brien wrote after seeing an interview with Scaramucci. "Seriously it’s an insult to your viewers. And also absurd. Is there no one else in the whole world to book but this mediocre dude?"

Scaramucci's wife, Deidre, was moved to criticize O'Brien.

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