NFL

President Trump and Former NFL Kicker Jay Feely Receive Harsh Criticism for Golfing and It’s a Very Different Reason Than Brett Favre

Several weeks ago, President Trump played a round of golf with Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre. The former NFL quarterback received a huge backlash from a large number of fans for the perceived insensitivity of playing golf with the one person who is supposed to be overseeing a country in the throes of multiple crises.

On Saturday and the day that President Trump had initially said in late July he would be throwing out the first pitch at a New York Yankees game, the President played another round of golf with Favre’s former teammate, placekicker Jay Feely. Feely is also taking criticism, but for one very different and sad reason. 

Jay Feely’s lengthy NFL career

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Jay Feely was a good kicker in college with the Michigan Wolverines. After graduation and unable to land a roster spot with an NFL team, Feely resorted to playing in the Arena Football League. In the AFL, he played for two seasons before the Atlanta Falcons gave him a chance in training camp, and he surprised everyone and won the starting job. 

That first season, Feely impressed converting on 29 of 37 attempts, including a league-leading 55-yarder. He converted all 28 PATs and earned All-Rookie honors. Feely retained steady employment in the NFL for the next 13 seasons with numerous teams. His longest stints were in Atlanta and Arizona, where he stayed four seasons apiece.

In 2012 with the Arizona Cardinals, Jay Feely connected on a 61-yard field goal that was his career-best. He retired after the 2014 season in Chicago.

Brett Favre criticized for golfing with President Trump

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In late July, former Green Bay Packers star and Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre played golf with President Donald Trump. Favre received considerable backlash for the decision. 

A large number of critics believed playing golf with the President is an implicit endorsement of his policies. While another group expressed concern why the quarterback and President should be enjoying such a leisurely time when the nation is in the midst of crises on multiple fronts with Hurricane Hanna making landfall in Texas, the pandemic and its more than 150,000 deaths, and social upheaval in cities around the nation. 

Some took to Twitter to share their feelings, including a radiologist, who posted from a sobering personal perspective. “150,000 dead Americans. I’m working a 13 hour shift at the hospital. Trump is golfing with Brett Favre.”

Favre responded to his decision to play golf and the subsequent criticism a couple of days later in an interview with USA Today. “I would have played golf with any President because I respect the office of the United States,” Favre said. “It’s an honor. If Barack Obama asked to golf with me, I would have taken the invitation.”

Jay Feely golfs with President Trump and criticized for different reason

While Brett Favre said he golfed with President Trump out of respect for the office, Jay Feely, appears to have done so because he’s a huge supporter. Feely hasn’t been shy about his political views in the past and has even appeared on Fox News’ Hannity show where he discussed his disagreement with Barack Obama’s policies. 

Feely posted on Twitter how unapologetically good it felt to play a round of golf with President Trump.

“Had the distinct honor to play golf today with POTUS and be his partner! Truly enjoyed talking about our families, politics and his earnest desires for our great country. he’s still got game.”

Just like Favre received his share of criticism for playing with the President, Feely did as well, but for a very different reason. In addition to the ongoing problems with the pandemic (now over 172,000 deaths) and social upheaval, the President’s brother Robert was gravely ill in a New York hospital. He died later in the day. Many viewed the President’s decision to play golf while his brother lay dying in a hospital room as calloused, and Feely was guilty by association.

“His brother died. So did thousands of Americans. But glad you had a nice game. It’s really all about you and Trump and your needs,” one person tweeted a reply to Feely’s post. 

Jay Feely is no stranger to controversy. A couple of years ago, he posted a picture of himself holding a gun while standing in between his daughter and her prom date. He later apologized. Will Feely apologize for his round of golf with the President? We’ll have to wait and see.