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U.S. exempting travel restrictions for foreign NBA players

Mavericks star Luka Doncic

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 8: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks is announced before the game against the Indiana Pacers on March 8, 2020 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

NBA teams could soon recall players to train for a resumed season.

But some international players – including Mavericks star Luka Doncic (Slovenia) and Pistons rookie Sekou Doumbouya (France) – returned to countries where United States travel restrictions apply.

That won’t be a problem, though.

Department of Homeland Security:

In support of the Trump Administration’s reopening of the economy, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf signed an order that exempts certain foreign professional athletes who compete in professional sporting events organized by certain leagues, including their essential staff and their dependents, from proclamations barring their entry into the U.S.
“Professional sporting events provide much needed economic benefits, but equally important, they provide community pride and national unity,” said Acting Secretary Wolf. “In today’s environment, Americans need their sports. It’s time to reopen the economy and it’s time we get our professional athletes back to work.”
The Department will work with the professional sporting groups to identify the specific athletes, essential staff, team and league leadership, spouses, and dependents covered by this exemption, including Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, the Professional Golfers’ Association Tour, the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour, the National Hockey League, the Association of Tennis Professionals, and the Women’s Tennis Association.

Of course these powerful and connected companies get special treatment.