USMNT captain Michael Bradley came out with some remarks on Donald Trump's ban on muslim travelers via Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl last night, but felt a need to revise his statement to more forcefully rebuke Trump's actions. In his second series of comments—which he released via his own Instagram account—Bradley described being "sad and embarrassed" by Trump's "xenophobic, misogynistic, and narcissistic rhetoric."
In his first remarks, above, Bradley told Grant Wahl that, "ultimately, I truly believe the United States is a country that has always been about welcoming people from all over the world and giving them an opportunity for a better life, an opportunity they otherwise wouldn't have." Bradley also used the phrases, "emotions run high" and "there are no easy answers," giving the impression that he was more comfortable equivocating rather than coming down clearly about his position.
His second statement, in full below, came seemingly after a bit of a revelation, with a more recognition of in this moment in history.
The US men's national soccer team is no stranger to controversy about immigration and citizenship. Earlier this month, USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard made some comments about foreign-born US players not bringing enough passion to the game. Current manager Bruce Arena came under fire for similar comments that he made in 2013.
But ultimately, the team has more often than not been made up of immigrants' children and dual nationals. Bradley's comments, and his experience traveling internationally, highlight that the US national team sits in a fascinating intersection of multiple parts of the globe, simultaneously representing a country of immigrants, and one whose expression of nationalism can at times be two dimensional. It's reaffirming to hear—both from a representative of the US and a representative of the US national team—that it doesn't always have to be us vs. them.