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Talking Trump: Broncos' Harris defends Muslims

Posted at 6:49 PM, Dec 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-09 20:49:59-05

Denver Broncos' offensive tackle Ryan Harris, a Muslim, says remarks made by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump don't deserve a response, but he feels like there isn't a choice.

Harris told USA Today Sports that murders are against the tenants of Islam and plenty of athletes in the United States are strong role models who represent his religion.

“You talk about Muhammad Ali, you talk about in Houston — Hakeem Olajuwon. Every single sports fan in Houston knows about fasting, Ramadan, and Islam because Hakeem fasted. You know what I mean? In Kansas City, people know Husain Abdullah. It's such a contrast to what you're seeing with the xenophobic hate speech. But it's having an effect, and it’s unfortunate," he told reporter Lindsay Jones.

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In his time at Notre Dame and on professional football teams, Harris expressed he's never felt discriminated against by coaches or teammates. However, Harris fears the recent phase of national intolerance.

“I'm 300 pounds, I'll be OK. But for the Muslim woman who wears a hajib and goes to work, or the Muslim kid in school right now, it's tough.”

Harris tweeted regarding a Trump response to President Obama's address this weekend. The president said athletes are among the Muslims we respect in America. When Donald tweeted, "What sport is he talking about? Who?" Harris retweeted others who endorsed him.

In his Twitter biography, Harris writes "one person can change the world."