'Mo wanted to stand up against discrimination': Farah's PR on his response to Trump's travel ban

Sir Mo Farah decided to speak up about President Trump's travel ban because he was "angered about the wider message Trump's policy is sending", according to his PR firm Freuds, which helped draft his now widely-publicised Facebook post.

Livingston and Farah at the Rio Olympic Games last year
Livingston and Farah at the Rio Olympic Games last year

In a Facebook post published on Sunday, the multiple Olympic champion runner expressed upset at the new President's temporary ban on people from various Middle Eastern and North African countries entering the US, including his country of birth, Somalia.

Excerpts from the statement feature on the front page of several UK newspapers today. More than 635,000 people had reacted to it and a quarter of a million Facebook users had shared it at the time of writing.

A naturalised Briton, Farah now trains and lives with his family in the US state of Oregon, but works with London's Freud Communications.

Jo Livingston, a director at Freuds, has worked with Farah since the summer of 2015.

Asked about how the statement came about, Livingston said her client "rarely talks about his past, religion or politics but as a Muslim living in America he was often asked his thoughts on Trump becoming President and largely avoided responding to them".

She went on to say: "That changed on Saturday when he heard about the travel ban."

Livingston said Farah was "immediately worried" about whether he would be allowed to enter the US again - the UK Government has now clarified that people in his position will not be affected - but was "even more angered about the wider message Trump’s policy is sending".

She said: "Mo told us he wanted to stand up for the people like him who work hard, contribute to society, and find themselves discriminated against for no reason other than their religion or country of birth.

"We worked with him to draft his Facebook statement and, as importantly, advising him on what impact it would have. The immediate and immense reaction and engagement on social media channels was encouraging to see with many with messages of support or thanking Mo for publicly speaking.

"While we now know Mo will be able to return home he remains angered by this divisive policy and will continue to oppose such discrimination."

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