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President Donald Trump's travel ban affected few major leaguers like it did Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler, whose wife was born in Iran, one of the seven Muslim-majority countries targeted in the executive order. When asked about it, Fowler made the "mistake" of being honest and truthful about wife Darya Baghban, telling ESPN's Mark Saxon:
"It's huge. Especially anytime you're not able to see family, it's unfortunate."
Saxon reported that the Fowlers wanted to bring their daughter, Naya, to see family in Iran, but that now was not the time. Also, Fowler's sister-in-law delayed a return from a business trip in Qatar because she didn't want to be detained at a U.S. airport upon re-entry.
All fair enough, which means it's time to bring in the trolls! Even though "huge" and "unfortunate" were the extent of Fowler's comments, he was hit with a barrage of pushback on social media, notably on Facebook. The ignorant pushers of hate were fans from across the league, but they also included lots of folks who painted themselves as Cardinals fans. And some Cubs fans, still basking in the glow of the championship Fowler helped bring to Chicago before leaving for the enemy, were done with him as well.
@Cardinals @DexterFowler stay out of politics dexter and focus on winning, is that to much to ask
— John Hendricks (@hennyjohn64) February 19, 2017
The worst admonishing comments came from people who told Fowler to "stick to sports" and to "stick to what you know -- baseball," and to "stay out of politics," as if he were commenting on someone else's family, and his own wasn't directly affected.
— Double Birds (@2xBirds) February 19, 2017
Fowler had the perfect response, though, which was pretty simple: "the truth."
For the record. I know this is going to sound absolutely crazy, but athletes are humans, and not properties of the team they work for.
— Dexter Fowler (@DexterFowler) February 19, 2017
That players aren't property might be the toughest concept to get through the thick skulls of the Stick To Sports Community.
While the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the enforcement of Trump's executive order, another order reportedly is coming soon. Fowler's family won't be able to escape politics. It's dim to expect him to be quiet about it.