Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri has responded strongly to President Donald Trump's reported disparaging claims about immigration.

Multiple outlets reported that Trump referred to Haiti and some African nations as "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers about immigration this week.

Ujiri, who was born and raised in Nigeria before moving to the United States, was critical of Trump's comments.

"If those places are being referred to as shitholes, go visit those places, and go meet those people," Uriji told ESPN.


"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 shithole?"

Uriji, who became the first African-born GM in NBA history, said he was proud of his home continent.

"I don't know that 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 shithole, I am proud of my shithole."

Ujiri also described his visits to cities throughout Africa and painted a positive picture of his home continent.

"This summer, I went to Kigali and Nairobi and Lagos, and I went to Kampala and Abidjan and Dakar and Johannesburg, and I saw great cities and great people.

"And I went to visit the refugee camp in Dadaab, and I met good people and good families with plenty of hope.

"If those places are being referred to as shitholes, go visit those places, and go meet those people."

Trump denied using the slur on Twitter but Democratic senator Dick Durbin, who was at the same meeting, said Trump used the words repeatedly, saying it was "hate filled, vile and racist".

Uriji was voted NBA Executive of the Year in 2013 and has been an American immigrant success story.

The 47-year-old is also known for his humanitarian efforts through his Giants of Africa basketball programme and NBA's charitable organisation, Basketball Without Borders.