United States soccer team captain Michael Bradley is “sad” and “embarrassed” by President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, he said on Instagram on Sunday.
Bradley spoke out after earlier taking a more diplomatic tone in an interview with a journalist, saying he felt compelled to be more forthright on the issue.
“I believe what I said but it was too soft,” he wrote. “The part I left out is how sad and embarrassed I am.
“When Trump was elected, I only hoped that the President Trump would be different from the campaigner Trump. 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 posted his remarks hours before leading the United States in a friendly match against Serbia in San Diego.
New Jersey-born Bradley, 29, plays his club soccer for Toronto FC, which he joined in 2014 after almost a decade playing in Europe.
He is the first prominent American sportsman to harshly criticize President Trump’s new immigration policy, which has also been slammed by four-times Olympic champion runner Mo Farah, a British citizen who was born in Somalia and lives in the U.S.
President Trump on Friday put a 120-day hold on allowing refugees into the country, an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and a 90-day bar on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The announcement prompted the National Basketball Association to try to contact the State Department to clarify the situation.
Two NBA players, Thon Maker of the Milwaukee Bucks and Luol Deng of the Los Angeles Lakers, were born in Sudan.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)