Before his political career, Donald Trump was an unabashed sports fan. He often used Twitter to praise athletes’ accomplishments and give insights on transactions. Since his presidential campaign coincided with Colin Kaepernick’s controversy, Trump has had an adversarial relationship with the sports world. Here’s why he won’t be watching sports anytime soon.
Donald Trump and sports
Until the Trump administration, the sports world had a somewhat amicable relationship with the White House. Champions across every league excitedly met with the sitting President to present a jersey. Under Trump, however, the only teams that get invited are those who don’t say anything bad about him, details Bleacher Report.
Several champions have visited the White House. Inevitably, however, some players choose to sit out, citing the administration’s controversial views on race. If too many members speak out against the President, they tend to either get their invitations rescinded or never sent at all.
Trump has been hostile toward Kaepernick. But Steph Curry, LeBron James, the Philadelphia Eagles, Megan Rapinoe, and many other athletes have spoken out against him. With protests coinciding with the loss of sports, however, America is in the midst of a social movement it hasn’t seen since the ’60s.
As such, athletes and teams alike are raising the stakes and getting more vocal about racial injustice and their hostility toward the Trump administration.
Trump still seems to act like a sports fan with tweets and speeches. He recently announced his intention to throw out the first pitch at a New York Yankees game. Then he rescinded his invite when it came out that neither the Yankees nor his administration knew about it, reports The New York Times.
The former Apprentice host stepped back, claiming he wouldn’t be there because he was too busy. In the days leading up to the MLB season, Trump responded to players and managers kneeling during the National Anthem.
The tweet was likely a response to MLB’s official account tweeting footage of the Giants, including manager Gabe Kapler, kneeling during the anthem. The tweet was met with opposition from several fans. They saw it as a disrespectful gesture toward the military, the country, and law enforcement.
We’ve only just begun
If the President didn’t like Kaepernick, Rapinoe, the WNBA, and Giants members kneeling, it’ll likely get worse as more sports resume. Members of nearly every active sport have protested injustice. Yahoo Sports says the Pelicans and Jazz are reportedly ready to kneel before the first game of the restart. Several teams will likely follow suit.
Despite the President stoking flames, reports CBS Sports, most of those polled are fine, if not fully supportive of the anthem protests. However, hot button issues like this helped give Trump fuel for his most vocal supporters. In an election year, he shows no signs of slowing down.
America is in an unprecedented time of division. As long as the current administration is in office, his relationship with sports will grow rockier.