St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler has not changed his opinion on President Donald Trump's proposed immigration ban despite criticism from fans.
Fowler was asked about the response from fans after an article was shared with the headline "Cardinals Outfielder Expresses Discontent With President Trump" on a Facebook page called St. Louis Cardinals True Fans. A number of Cardinals fans did not appreciate Fowler's comments and took to Facebook to express their displeasure. One commenter wrote, “Dexter you better close your mouth.....Go Mr. President.” Another said, “You should keep your mouth shut and just play baseball.”
“The question was asked out of empathy for my family,” Fowler said. “You know, I appreciate that. If anybody's asking about my family, then I'll let them know ‘Yeah, obviously it affected my family.’”
“I said it's unfortunate,” he added. “That's it. So, I think it's just ignorant people coming at me like that and not reading the article.”
Fowler's wife, Darya Baghbani, was born in Iran, which is one of seven Muslim-majority countries on Trump's travel ban list. Fowler spoke out against Trump in an interview with ESPN.com and called the ban "unfortunate" as they initially planned on traveling to Iran to visit family.
“It's huge,” Fowler told ESPN. “Especially any time you're not able to see your family. It's unfortunate.”
Last month, President Trump signed a controversial executive order on immigration and travel. The immigration ban also suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days and indefinitely suspended refugee intake from Syria. The Trump Administration has said the restrictions are a necessary measure to enhance national security. (The executive order was blocked by a federal judge, whose decision was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.)
Fowler is in the first year of his five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Cardinals after winning a World Series with the Chicago Cubs last season.