President Donald Trump and his administration’s proposed travel ban and immigration policy are already having an effect on MLS.
One MLS team executive says that his team was pursuing a Designated Player-level signing from outside the U.S. in late January, but the player decided against the move in part because he’s Muslim and he said he didn’t feel safe in the United States right now. The player was not from one of the seven majority-Muslim countries on the travel ban list–Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen–which has been overruled for now by a federal court.
The MLS executive said the travel ban wasn’t the only reason the deal didn’t happen, but the player did tell him it was part of the reason.
It remains to be seen whether more players will follow suit and shy away from signing with the league for similar reasons.