Dexter Fowler made quite the first impression with St. Louis Cardinals fans.
The center fielder, who is from Atlanta and was drafted in 2008 by the Colorado Rockies from Milton High School,
described to ESPN over the weekend how President Donald Trump's proposed travel ban affected his wife's Iranian family.
Fowler’s wife, Aliya, is a U.S. citizen who emigrated from Iran with her parents when she was 5. Her grandparents and extended family still live in Iran. The couple have a 3-year-old daughter.
Asked his opinion on the ban, Fowler said: “It’s huge. Especially any time you’re not able to see your family, it’s unfortunate.”
Fans on the "St. Louis Carindals True Fans" Facebook page did not respond well to the comment and engaged in an often foul-language exchange debating the merit of his words.
Some fans voiced support, others called on Fowler to “shut up,” stay out of politics, or be removed from the team:
Fowler joined the Cardinals on a five-year, $82.5 million contract after hitting .276 with 13 homers and 48 RBIs in his second season with the Chicago Cubs, helping the franchise to its first championship since 1908.
He responded to detractors on Twitter:
Welp.Since I have a nice little chunk of people who hate me cuz I have an opinion.I'm going to do a nice giveaway away for the good people.— Dexter Fowler (@DexterFowler) February 19, 2017
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
Fowler told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Monday:
“I’m always going to care for my family. If a question is asked out of concern, I’m going to answer the question. I’m going to answer it truthfully. It’s not hurt anybody.”
In a previous Twitter post he let his daughter, Naya, address his feelings:
If only I really appreciated these words as a kid.... a little reminder from my little girl at how amazing our nation is. #usa pic.twitter.com/pkt37AX1Dt— Dexter Fowler (@DexterFowler) January 24, 2017
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