Wednesday June 1st, 2016

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Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Ryan Harris has spoken out against presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in light of his inflammatory comments on Muslims in America, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Trump has proposed banning Muslims from entering the United States and said in March that he thinks “Islam hates us.”

Harris converted to Islam when he was in eighth grade. 

“The right to pursue freedom and liberty in this country and practice your own religion, that’s as American as it gets,” Harris told the Post-Gazette in response to a question about Trump. “If you’re against that, to me and to others, it’s un-American.”

He said that he has generally been treated with respect. 

“I’m so thankful, from going to school at Notre Dame to all the way in the NFL, everybody’s had nothing but respect for me,” he added. “That’s the majority of this country and that’s the majority of experiences for Muslims.”

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Harris first spoke out against Trump's anti-Muslim policies in December, when fellow coaches, teammates and friends reached out to see if he was concerned about the candidate. He said that he had never experienced xenophobia in the NFL.

Harris was a member of last season's Super Bowl-winning Denver Broncos team. The Steelers signed Harris as an unrestricted free agent. He is expected to compete against Alejandro Villanueva for playing time at left tackle.

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