JUPITER, FL (KTVI) – St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler said he’s disappointed with President Donald Trump’s push to institute a travel ban because of how it could affect his own family.
Fowler’s wife, Darya Baghbani, was born in Iran, one of seven Muslim-majority countries on the travel ban list. ESPN reported Fowler and Baghbani planned on bringing their daughter to see relatives in Iran, but have reconsidered their travel options due to the ban.
"It's huge. Especially anytime you’re not able to see family, it’s unfortunate,” Fowler said.
On January 27, President Trump signed an executive order banning foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States. Less than two weeks later, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against enforcement of the president’s travel ban.
Fowler signed a five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Cardinals as a free agent. He spent the last two seasons with the Chicago Cubs.
Some members of Cardinal Nation were not pleased to learn of Fowler's thoughts on the matter and took to social media to voice their displeasure, as chronicled by the Baseball's Best Fans Twitter account.
For his part, Fowler said athletes are entitled to have opinions like anyone else and they're not "properties of the team they work for." He then offered free tickets to an upcoming Spring Training game for any Cardinals fans who would be in Jupiter.
When the subject came up Monday during a meeting with reporters, Fowler remained steadfast in defense of his family.
"I gave nothing away. I'm always going to care for my family, and if a question is asked out of concern, I'm going to answer the question truthfully," Fowler said. "It's not to hurt anybody. It's my perspective. It's unfortunate that people think of things that way, but I believe they're sensitive. I'm not the sensitive one."
Meanwhile, President Trump is expected to unveil a revised version of this executive order this week. The same seven countries will be targeted in the travel ban, but green-card holders, dual citizens, and people with travel visas will be exempt, an unnamed White House official told Fox News.