Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri felt compelled to respond to United States president Donald Trump's reported vulgar remark about immigrants from African nations.
During a meeting with lawmakers about immigration, Trump reportedly asked why the United States would "want all these people from s***hole countries coming here".
Ujiri, who grew up in Nigeria and emigrated to USA in 1993 to play college basketball, said he was proud of his heritage and slammed Trump's reported comment.
"I don't think it's fair, and I don't think it's what inspiring leadership can be. What sense of hope are we giving people if you are calling where they live – and where they're from – a s***hole?" Ujiri told ESPN on Friday.
"I've spent a lot of time in the United States and Canada and I am grateful for the opportunities that I've been given by people, and the game of basketball, and the NBA. As leaders, I think we have to give people in many places a chance to have success, not continue to put those people down.
"We have to inspire people and give them a sense of hope. We need to bring people along, not ridicule and tear them down. This cannot be the message that we accept from the leader of the free world.
"Just because someone lives in a hut, that doesn't mean that isn't a good person, that that person can't do better, that person isn't capable of being great. And just because it's a hut – whatever that means – doesn't mean it's not a home. God doesn't put anyone someplace permanently. I am a living testimony to that. If I grew up in a s***hole, I am proud of my s***hole."