Sir Mo Farah has said Donald Trump’s travel ban on refugees and citizens from seven mainly-Muslim countries was “unfair” and that he felt it was “important” to speak up.
The Somalia-born four-time Olympic champion said last month that the US president’s decree, which prevented those from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen entering the US for 90 days or more, was “deeply troubling”.
Sir Mo, who lives and trains in Portland, Oregon, was concerned the travel ban would force him to be separated from his wife and four children, but it was later clarified that the exclusion would not apply to the athlete.
A federal appeals court refused to reinstate the ban last week – meaning people and refugees from the seven nations can continue to enter the US for the time being – but Mr Trump has promised more legal action.
In his first interview since criticising the ban, Sir Mo told ITV News London that Mr Trump’s “unfair” decision had “affected” him.
He said: “Speaking to my kids and not being able to see my kids… that affected me, so it was important that I speak up and say what was right.
“I believe that was an unfair decision. Suddenly your country… When you’ve been there for six years and done everything right, overnight to tell you that you can’t come back to your kids, is unfair.”
In the ITV News London interview, Sir Mo also spoke about how he had found it “weird” being called “Sir”, and said it was “something I never dreamed of”.
“I remember watching Match of the Day… seeing so many guys like Sir Alex Ferguson was one of them. And now myself. It’s just incredible, unbelievable.”