"Tanitoluwa `Tani' Adewumi rose to sudden stardom at age 8 for his striking chess skills: He beat 73 opponents and clinched the New York state chess championship for his division. At the time, in 2019, he was living with his family in a homeless shelter.
Thursday, November 2, 2023
Professional basketball has gone global. "[F]rom 2010 to 2021, 21 percent of [National Basketball Association (NBA)] players who debuted in the league were foreign-born. Over time, foreign-born NBA players have come from nearly every continent representing 80 countries, as well as U.S. Territories and the U.S. Virgin Islands."
A new study looks at the impacts of anti-immigrant sentiment on the performance of NBA players who are immigrants. And the results are fascinating if not altogether surprising.
During the 2020–2021 season of the National Basketball Association, immigrant players for teams in regions with stronger far-right political sentiments were more likely to make game errors—highlighting the effects of such views on immigrant workplace performance. Benjamin Korman and Florian Kunze of the University of Konstanz, Germany, presented these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. "Prior research has shown that, in regions with strong support for far-right political parties, immigrants face more prejudice and discrimination. Evidence also suggests that being exposed to anti-immigrant propaganda may hinder immigrants' performance on various tasks, and exposure to negative stereotypes about a certain group of people might boost the performance of people outside that group."
The new study hypothesized that living in areas with far-right views might increase immigrants' awareness of the possibility of being judged negatively as immigrants, disrupting their attention and causing them to make more workplace errors. To investigate that hypothesis, they analyzed data on all 522 US-based NBA players' game performance following the failed 2020 re-election bid of Donald Trump. The researchers found that immigrant players for teams based in regions with a higher percentage of presidential votes for Trump were more likely to make performance errors than immigrant players in regions with less Trump support. In contrast, the opposite was found for native players in the far-right regions. These results held true after statistically accounting for other factors that could impact performance, such as age, position, ball-possession time, number of possessions, salary and minutes of play time.
On the basis of their findings, the researchers suggest that organizations might consider steps to insulate employees from regional far-right views by, for instance, banning employees from wearing politically charged clothing and fostering inclusive environments.
Sunday, June 4, 2023
The National Basketball Association (NBA) finals featuring the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat continue later today. One interesting development in the NBA is that, as reported here,
"[f]or a fifth straight year, the NBA's Most Valuable Player award will go to someone born outside of the United States. While the league has not yet announced the winner of the Michael Jordan Trophy, the finalists are Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Cameroon-born Embiid (the league's leading scorer), Serbia's Jokic (the two-time reigning MVP), and Greek-Nigerian Antetokounmpo (who hoisted the trophy in 2019 and 2020) each turned in a superlative 2022–2023 campaign . . .
Along with Slovenian guard Luka Doncic, who at the tender age of 24 has already made the All-NBA First Team three years running, Embiid, Jokic, and Antetokounmpo are becoming the defining faces of the NBA's global brand . . . .
This injection of foreign talent has been a boon for the NBA and, in turn, for American basketball fans. League revenue is at a record high, and quality of play is as well, by many metrics. While their pure hoops talent is key, the NBA's foreign star quartet has accelerated the adoption of new, more free-flowing, all-court playing styles borrowed from the international game that have elevated the league's on-court aesthetic.
The NBA's adoption of talented individuals from around the globe provides a lesson for the wider American economy." (bold added).
Sunday, February 19, 2023
"From the cold of Canada’s Quebec city, there is a first at the International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament, a team of refugees from the war in Ukraine. The team trained back home as bombs fell and even skated in the dark. NBC News’ Jose Díaz-Balart speaks with the young players and witnesses an emotional moment on a video call between one of the team players and his father, who is fighting on the front lines."
The Ukrainian team had a wonderful run in the torunament.
Monday, February 13, 2023
Yesterday afternoon and evening, many Americans were enjoying an exciting Super Bowl, new (including some comprehensible) commercials, and a top end half-time show. At the same time, the Department of Homeland Security was on high alert. Check out this press release ("DHS Teams Up with State and Local Officials to Secure Super Bowl LVII"):
"The Department of Homeland Security, in close coordination with state and local officials, is leading federal efforts to ensure the safety and security of employees, players, and fans during Super Bowl LVII. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas was in Phoenix and Glendale, Arizona this week to inspect security operations, meet with federal, state, and local law enforcement and emergency responders, and engage with National Football League (NFL) partners as the pregame week kicks off.
`At the Department of Homeland Security, our core mission is to ensure the safety of the American public – including at special events like the Super Bowl. DHS is a department of partnerships, and our efforts here rely on our partnerships with federal, state, local, tribal, and campus agencies, and of course, the NFL,' said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. `Dedicated DHS personnel are on the ground preparing and coordinating, and stand ready to provide operational and technical support to the NFL, State of Arizona, and the cities of Glendale and Phoenix to keep Super Bowl LVII safe and ensure everyone can enjoy the game.'”
Friday, January 27, 2023
Australia is no stranger to immigration controversies. Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, also is no stranger to controversy. Mary Crock (University of Sydney) for The Conversation considers Ye's immigration issues in Australia:
"Just one year after then-Immigration Minister Alex Hawke moved to expel tennis star Novak Djokovic from Australia on character grounds, his Labor successor, Andrew Giles, is faced with another controversial visitor in the form of Ye (formerly known as Kanye West).
Professor Crock concludes by noting that
"What is clear from previous cases is the fact the immigration minister has long enjoyed extraordinary power to exclude and expel non-citizens whose presence in Australia might prove unpopular. And these decisions inevitably involve political calculations. Just ask Novak Djokovic."
Friday, December 16, 2022
Here is a "feel good' story for the holiday season. Sydney Page in the New York Times reports that
Thursday, December 1, 2022
World Cup mania is everywhere! And there is an immigration angle. Gijsbert Oonk for Migration Information Source reports that World Cup fans "may have noticed a sizable number of players born outside the country they represent on the field, especially for teams representing nations such as Morocco and Qatar. This is not unusual. Athletes born abroad have represented national teams in every World Cup since its inception in 1930, typically accounting for about one in ten players. At times, these players can raise complicated questions about national belonging, citizenship, and migration."
Monday, November 21, 2022
Saturday, October 29, 2022
On October 14, the Oklahoma Law Review hosted as symposium on Name, Image, and Likeness in College Athletics. I spoke, along with Professor Eric E. Johnson (yup, a relation) regarding the opportunities available for international student athletes to enter NIL deals.
You can see our (very brief) comments in the video below starting at 2:08:23 and ending at 2:18:48. Here's the short version:
Academics and attorneys have counseled that F-visa international student athletes are largely prohibited from benefiting from NIL income because of the visa's restrictions on employment. To the contrary, NIL income is not incompatible with F-visa status.
NIL is about the right of publicity and licensing. That is, if someone uses an athlete's name, image, or likeness without authorization, the athlete could sue for violation of their right of publicity. But if the entity that used the athlete's NIL had a license with the athlete, that license would serve as an affirmative defense to the right of publicity claim. In other words, payments made pursuant to an NIL license (if structured appropriately) are license income and not employment.
Those who have argued that F-visa international student athletes are prohibited from benefiting from NIL income because of the visa's restrictions on employment, often cite Wettasinghe v. INS 702 F.2d 641 (6th Cir. 1983). Yet that case rested on regulations--changed 11 days after the opinion--that prohibited F-visa students from working off campus "for an employer or independently." The "or independently" language is no longer in the regulations. The case also predates IRCA, which, in 1986, defined the term "employment" to specifically exclude independent contracting. Finally, the Wettasinghe case predates CCNV v. Reid, 490 U.S. 730 (1989), in which SCOTUS said that if "employment" is undefined in a statute, it means the common-law agency conception, not independent contractor labor.
There is vast gap between "employment" and "licensing income." The fact that people have been blanketly excluding international student athletes from NIL deals because of F-visa prohibitions on employment is unwarranted. That said, USCIS hasn't weighed in on this issue. And the downside of engaging in activity that the government might eventually hold to be incompatible with nature of the visa is deportation. So it's understandable why folks might be overly cautious in this space.
Our paper will be published by the OLR in 2023.
BASEBALL FANS: Did you see our ad "NO MAS!" that just ran during Game 1 of the World Series? WATCH 👇 pic.twitter.com/wdLH79rdNw— Citizens for Sanity (@citizens_sanity) October 29, 2022
It is time for the World Series, the culmination of a wild and wooly baseball season. The New York Post reports:
"A new political ad blasting President Biden over issues like illegal immigration and the state of the economy aired Friday during Game 1 of the World Series.
`How did we get here?' the ad begins, lamenting `low wages, high inflation, record crime' and `illegal immigration from places as far away as Pakistan.'
The ad, broadcast 11 days out from the midterm elections, was paid for by Citizens for Sanity and appeared to be targeting Latino voters — with the narrator speaking with a clear Hispanic accent.
`Our cities are a mess. Public services are a nightmare. But instead of helping us, Joe Biden has sent $66 billion to Ukraine. Weapons worth billions more. And now, Joe Biden says his fight in Ukraine could lead to nuclear Armageddon. World War III.
`You know what I say? No mas,' the ad concludes."
A group called Citizens for Sanity ran the ad. Politifact refers to "Citizens for Sanity [as] a conservative nonprofit whose leaders are associated with the America First Legal Foundation, which was founded by former Trump administration official Stephen Miller." Th4e group ran similar ads during the Los Angeles Dodgers/San Diego Padres series.
The Philadelphia Phillies won the first game of the Series over the Houston Astros 6-5 in 10 innings.
Tuesday, October 18, 2022
Fans outraged with MLB and FS1 for running “Citizens for Sanity” immigration political ad during LA Dodgers/San Diego Padres Playoff Series
It has been a tough few days for this Los Angeles Dodgers fan. After having an amazing season with the best record in Major League Baseball, The Dodgers lost a series to the San Diego Padress in the Major League Baseball playoffs last weekend.
There is an immigration angle to the Dodgers' demise. According to Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times, the “Citizens for Sanity” commercial aired on FS1 during the mid-fourth inning break of the NLDS finale between the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers. The ad also aired during the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves series on FS1.
NEW AD: 🔊— Citizens for Sanity (@citizens_sanity) October 14, 2022
TELL BIDEN & KELLY...
WE DON'T WANT OPEN BORDERS! pic.twitter.com/8kOrnSTiH8
And that's why the Dodgers lost.
Friday, September 30, 2022
Top scorer in the National Basketball Association and All-Star, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers was sworn in as a U.S. citizen two weeks ago, reports Dan Gelston of the Associated Press. "A native of Cameroon who also holds French citizenship, Embiid was sworn . . . in Philadelphia as an American citizen.""I’ve been here for a long time," said Embiid. "My son is American. I felt like, I’m living here and it’s a blessing to be an American. So I said, why not?"
Friday, September 9, 2022
The glamor of the U.S. Open tennis tournamentt does not extend to the workers who keep it running, writes Amir Khafagy for Documented.
Over $4,500 is owed to workers, including 71-year-old Maria and her sister Luz, who prepared food for fans at the 2021 U.S. Open.
Both women spent over eight hours a day washing, peeling, and cutting fruits and vegetables. They were unpaid and abruptly laid off because the company said it had ‘over-hired.’
The U.S. Open’s subcontractor in this case, appears to have a long track record of wage theft. Read now on Documented.
Sunday, September 4, 2022
Michael Rothstein for ESPN relays the story of Ramla Ali, a refugee from Somalia.
Ali, a professional boxer, not long ago walked through a refugee camp in Jordan "hearing stories of separation and pain, of hope and resilience with the belief that one day, a new life would come." Ali was there as an ambassador with UNICEF UK. Ali wanted to become a voice for refugees by amplifying their stories.
"There are many celebrities who work with UNICEF, but few like Ali. Like the children she met, Ali is a refugee. Throughout her entire life, her parents have dropped hints about the country she desperately wants to one day see but has not returned to since the family left for England when she was a toddler.
Ali's life is like a jigsaw puzzle put together. From boxing to modeling, writing a book and being a humanitarian and a champion for women in London through the nonprofit she started, she has pushed past the limits of what may have seemed possible. [A few weeks ago], when she and Crystal Garcia Nova become the first women to box professionally in Saudi Arabia on the card headlined by the Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua heavyweight title fight, Ali will once again exceed expectations. And everything Ali has done in her life traces back to the place she comes from, yet has no recollection of.
Somalia." (bold added).
Monday, July 25, 2022
A previous Immigrant of the Day and World Series MVP, David "Big Papi" Ortiz is has been inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. A fan favorite known for his play with the Boston Red Sox, Ortiz immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic and is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Also inducted into the Hall of Fame was Minnie Minoso, an immigrant from Cuba, who was the first Black Latino in Major League Baseball.
Tuesday, July 12, 2022
Zahid Mahmood for CNN reports that long distance running legend Mo Farah has told the BBC that he was trafficked into the United Kingdom as a child and forced to work as a domestic servant. Check out the BBC story for details.
Mo Farah truly is a running legend. In 2012, he won Olympic gold in both the men's 5,000m and 10,000m in London. Four years later in Rio, he again won gold in both events.
Saturday, June 18, 2022
In boxing news from across the pond, undisputed world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury was refused entry to the United States tonight because of his former ties to Daniel Kinahan, who the United States has targeted as an organized crime leader. Kinahan in recent years has played an important matchmaking role in professional boxing.
It was widely reported that Fury was not allowed to board a flight from the United Kingdom to the United States by U.S. immigration officers and that more than 600 people with links to the Kinahan leader have been barred from entering the United States by U.S. authorities.
The denial of entry to the heavyweight champion of the world suggests that the U.S. government is willing to take a tough position on associates of Daniel Kinahan.
Monday, May 23, 2022
Albert Pujols, the major league baseball player with the St. Louis Cardinals, is no stranger to being immigrant of the day. Kevin highlighted him in 2007 when the Dominican-born player became a U.S. citizen, and again in 2017 when Pujols was on the verge of hitting his 600th home run (which he did and more).
Here's the thing about baseball. You've got hitters/fielders and you've got pitchers. They're different folks. Different skills. There's typically no crossover.
Pujols is, as you might guess, a hitter. He played first base for the cardinals for years. Then transitioned to becoming the team's designated hitter. That, for non-baseball folks, means he would step up and hit in lieu of the pitcher. Those 600+ home runs he's hit have many lauding him as a shoo-in for baseball's Hall of Fame once he retires.
Then came Sunday, May 15. The Cardinals were playing the Giants (S.F.). It was a blowout. In bottom of the eighth inning the Cards were ahead 15-2. The team's manager was looking around for someone to pitch the 9th so the team could avoid using a reliever. Pujols, 42, who had never before pitched, took the bait. He gave up 4 runs, but closed out the inning at 15-6.
After the game, Pujols told reporters it was: "A dream come true to say that I did it... It was fun. It wasn’t fun giving up two bombs. I think the fans had a good time. I’m sure the guys that took me deep did, too.”
You can watch his pitching here:
Sunday, May 22, 2022
A Super Fight Down Under And I Will Reign Supreme On June 5th At Marvel Stadium Defending All My Belts And Adding Another One To My Collection 🇦🇺⚔️🇬🇷— George "Ferocious" Kambosos Jr (@georgekambosos) May 6, 2022
🎫 Limited Tickets Left Don’t Miss Out On Watching History And Brutality 😈 pic.twitter.com/QcEUi40oR5
Earlier this year, Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic was unable to defend his 2021 title after the Australian government canceled his visa. The nation has a long history of tough immigration enforcement. For a look at Austrlian's contemporary immigration policies, click here.
Now the Australian government has failed to issue a visa in connection with a major sporting event. WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney’s father/trainer Bill Haney has been denied entrance into Australia for him to work his son’s fight against the undefeated George Kambosos Jr. on June 5 in Melbourne. Bill says he has been denied entrance into Australia because of a 1992 drug conviction.
As a result, Bill Haney will not be working Devin Haney’s corner for fight against Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs)
“I did some mistakes at 22, 23-years-old that Devin is now that hopefully, he’ll never have to make the mistakes,” said Bill Haney to Trill Boxing Talk.
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
Bismack Biyombo was born in Zaire, a country now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is an NBA player currently with the Phoenix Suns. He began his hoops career in Spain and previously played for the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets, Toronto Raptors, and Orlando Magic.
Biyombo has dedicated his entire season's salary -- all 1.3 million dollars -- to building a hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He hopes to honor the memory of his father, who passed away from Covid in 2021.