Luol Deng was born in war-torn Sudan and escaped his homeland as a refugee, eventually landing in Great Britain and being naturalized as a citizen.
Due to a civil war, Deng's country of birth has since become South Sudan, and thus, the 31-year-old should not be affected by President Donald Trump's Executive Order, which named Sudan as one of the seven countries on the travel ban list.
However, Deng considers himself a "proud refugee" and decided to take to social media to share a message that aimed to dignify refugees around the world, while also not so subtly speaking out against the president's actions, which suspends all immigration for citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries for 90 days.
In his statement, Deng pointed to policies of providing safe harbor as saving "countless lives." The Lakers forward also went on to state, "Refugees are productive members of society that want for their family just as you want for yours."
Deng added, "I stand by all refugees and migrants, of all religions, just as I stand by the policies that have historically welcomed them."
Deng is a dual citizen of South Sudan and of Great Britain and a permanent resident of the United States. However, the president's order applied to dual citizens, though the application on permanent residents, or green card holders, has been a bit less clear.
Also, Deng was technically born in Sudan, as South Sudan did not exist as an independent nation in 1985, so his passport and documents likely list "Sudan" as the country of birth. This minor detail could complicate Deng's status. While the president's order should not apply to Deng, the forward will likely have to take a few extra measured steps prior to his next international travel.
The Lakers have already made their annual trip to Toronto, so the team does not expect to encounter any issues related to international travel in the near future.
Deng opted not to speak with reporters following Monday's practice but will honor his media availability on Tuesday night at Staples Center following the game against the Denver Nuggets.