These days, Donald Trump has an irregular relationship with sports leagues. However, before trying his hand at politics, the controversial President had a different relationship with sports. He often appeared as a fan, promoter, and owner. It seems like Trump greatly favors golf as his sport of choice. What other sports, if any, does he love?
Donald Trump in sports
Trump’s relationship with sports may predate his status as a public figure. Long before the Oval Office, The Apprentice, or even his real estate projects, Trump played baseball as a teen. Depending on who’s asked, there’s some evidence that he was quite good at the sports. The Philadelphia Phillies reportedly scouted him before he focused on business.
When the upstart USFL promised football in the NFL offseason, reports ESPN, Trump saw his chance to dabble in sports ownership. Trump purchased the New Jersey Generals and spent big money acquiring players. As the league grew, however, he tried to establish himself as a power broker. When his power grab worked from a personal standpoint, including a lawsuit against the NFL that got him one dollar, the league quickly folded under the movement led by Trump.
Throughout the years, Trump also made several appearances at WWE events, even stepping into the ring with Vince McMahon. Since then, while Trump made his desire known to be a sports owner, he typically observed sports as a fan.
Trump goes from sports fan to critic
Trump was a staple at sporting events before his life in politics. His likeness was used in several promotional spots for the NBA and other leagues, using his celebrity to promote the league. Anyone who followed the future President on Twitter constantly saw a stream of takes praising athletes such as LeBron James and Dwight Howard, details Sports Illustrated. The NBA seemed to be an especially popular sport in his household.
Trump made many friends across the sporting world, from McMahon and UFC President Dana White to Tom Brady and several other high-profile athletes. Several of these athletes have since disavowed the President, but some remain silent or vocally support him despite his reputation in many circles.
Around the time that Trump announced his candidacy for President, however, his relationship changed. Athletes like Colin Kaepernick, whose National Anthem protests drew the ire, were easy fodder for Trump’s base. After taking the White House, the Trump White House forewent the practice of inviting the major champions to the White House, and typically only invited teams who were willing to go and included supporters.
If an athlete supports Trump or is willing to meet with him, he typically welcomes them with open arms. However, any athlete that bad mouths him tends to be put on blast. Perhaps, that is why Trump’s golf courses seem to be his favorite sporting venue as the President.
Trump’s favorite sport
Trump’s love of golf is no surprise. After all, details Golf News Network, one of the most rampant criticisms of how he spends his time as President has to do with how often he charges taxpayers to stay at his golf courses and hit the greens. Mara Lago has been his home away from home since moving into the White House. He spent 22% of his first year in office at his golf courses in America, Dubai, and Scotland.
Trump claims to boast a handicap under five, but many believe that to be another embellishment. One thing is for sure, despite his run-ins with athletes, Trump remains devoted to golf. As long as he is in the world of politics, that isn’t likely to change any time soon.