Former President Trump has had many detractors during his time as a presidential candidate, in office, and now after government. Many celebrities, writers, intellectuals and athletes have publicly shown their negative opinions towards the Republican figure. But, at the same time, a not inconsiderable group of sportsmen have supported him.
In an era culturally dominated by woke Progressivism, where the media openly promotes social and racial justice rhetoric, and Conservative ideas are being buckled down, it is remarkable that Trump has gained the support of celebrity athletes.
A short list of sportsmen who support Trump
Mike Tyson, undisputed boxing legend, commented a few days before the 2020 presidential election the following, “If I can convince 200,000 people or more to vote for Trump, I will.”
The boxer has unfailingly supported Trump.
Tiger Woods, who has always been cautious when addressing political issues, was received at the White House by the then-President. Between Woods and Trump, of course, they share a passion for golf. So it should come as no surprise that the president so greatly admires this historic golfer with a black father and Thai mother.
Tiger, at 43 when he won the Masters, went to Washington to collect the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.
If anyone thinks that Trump showed sympathy for Woods as a way to improve his image in the black community, he is wrong, many years ago the former President had already expressed his admiration for the golfer: “He is a very special champion and a total winner,” said Trump about six years ago.
Woods has also expressed himself publicly about Trump, although with his characteristic cautious stance: “I’ve known Donald for years. We’ve played together. We’ve also had dinner together,” he commented, explaining that he doesn’t care about his politics: “It doesn’t matter who’s in office. You may or may not like his personality or his approach to politics. But we all have to respect such a high office.”
Woods was not the only player received in Washington by Trump to be honored with the Medal of Freedom. Mariano Rivera, a Panamanian baseball player who became a naturalized American citizen, who won 100% of the votes to be a member of the Hall of Fame and is the best relief pitcher in history, is also a great friend of the former President and received the distinction along with a number of other athletes.
“He was a friend of mine before he was President. So because he’s President, I’m going to turn my back on him? No. (…) I respect him. I respect what he does and I think he is doing what is best for the United States of America,” Rivera commented.
The sportsman served on Trump’s Opioid Drug Abuse Commission. He was also the co-chair of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition.
“Mariano Rivera has made extraordinary contributions to American sports, culture and society. He is the most dominant relief pitcher in baseball history. And more than that, he has lived the American dream and shines as an example of American greatness for all to see,” Trump commented about the baseball player.
If there is one point of agreement about the former Republican President, it is his uncompromising personality. Some people like him, others don’t; but Trump is a character who has both detractors and admirers.
In that vein, Dennis Rodman -the NBA’s all-time best rebounder, a power forward with great defensive talent and physical exuberance, an unequivocal key player in Michael Jordan’s and Scottie Pippen’s Bulls- is a loyal Trump supporter.
In tears, back in 2018, on the eve of Trump’s historic North Korea summit, the storied Bulls power forward mentioned his wish for the summit to be “all a success” and was “happy to be a part of it,” because “I deserve it.”
Rodman has been criticized for his trips to North Korea where, as he himself commented, his goal was to open the doors of dialogue between the countries through “basketball diplomacy”. And boy, did he succeed.
And names just add up. There are many American athletes, MLB, boxing, basketball and NFL legends who followed and supported Trump. And, in fact, they probably still do.
But you’ll note that, all four of the aforementioned athletes are of dark complexion or Latinos, and none have received major criticism for being supporters of the President or have been hurt by their political positions on Trump.
Now, there are two athletes, and they are recent cases, white, Native Americans, who have indeed been criticized or hurt by their stances on the former President. Why does this have to happen?
USA Today: Brady can’t speak out because he’s white and privileged
On February 2nd, an op-ed signed by Nancy Armour appeared in USA Today, in it, Armour lashes at quarterback Tom Brady for his support of Trump and the Make America Great Again (MAGA) slogan.
“The ‘Make America Great Again; cap on his locker, the flippant endorsement of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. Only when those ties became uncomfortable did Brady decide he wanted to ‘dedicate himself to sports’ and would rather be a beacon of positivity than delve into society’s thorny ills (…) What a powerful target on his part” notes Armour in its article.
“Brady’s ability to slip in and out of the debate at will, to shield himself from accountability, is the height of white privilege. As this country grapples with the extremes of systemic racism, look no further than Brady, for whom the expectations, and the concessions granted, will always be different,” the columnist explains, trying to say that, because he is a “positioned and privileged” white man, Brady has carte blanche to be exonerated of his “terrible sin”: supporting Trump.
Armour is wrong. Brady doesn’t get a free pass at all, and her column and the comments she quotes prove it.
“LeBron James can never say, a prominent black athlete can never say, ‘Minister Farrakhan is just my friend.’ They would try to write anyone off at the mere mention of Mr. Farrakhan’s name,” Sharpe said on “Undisputed,” the show she co-hosts on FS1, in reference to Louis Farrakhan, the anti-Semitic and homophobic leader of the Nation of Islam,” reads the column in question.
It’s a lie. The world’s sportsmen have rallied to support Black Lives Matter, a movement that calls itself anti-racist, but which, at its core, simply carries a well-funded far-left political agenda.
BLM carried out violent protests, ruining businesses and families, and no one can say that supporting this movement is frowned upon in today’s society. Quite the contrary. The jock who doesn’t take a knee and raise his fist like BLM is criticized.
And the article’s argument is also easily refuted, because Brady isn’t being criticized for supporting Trump, he’s being criticized for supporting Trump being white and well-positioned.
Because Armour’s column ignores the cases mentioned: Rodman, Tyson, Woods, Rivera, blacks, Latinos, son of a migrant, some who came from low to reach the top, all of them, in one way or another, more or less committed, supported Trump.
What is the problem with Brady? His sin is being white, American and supporting a leader who, according to the media mostly akin to progressive ideas, they say intensifies racial conflicts or social polarization. And the Democrats don’t?
And if so, where does that leave free speech? What is being called for against Brady is a witch hunt. To be persecuted and stigmatized for his political positions.
The talented quarterback, like everyone else, can be questioned about his political positions. But with arguments. Not because he is white, privileged and supports the leader you dislike.
The man who won’t make it to the Hall of Fame for supporting Trump
Curt Schilling is a retired and extremely talented major league pitcher. He helped the Philadelphia Phillies reach the World Series in 1993, won championships in 2001 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and in 2004 and 2007 achieved glory with the Boston Red Sox.
A week ago, Schilling was at the top of the list to enter the Hall of Fame for the ninth time. And, for the ninth time, he fell short of the votes.
“Schilling fell 16 votes short of being inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame ballot, which is decided by a panel of journalists from the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA),” reads an article from Global News.
After his retirement, Schilling has been something of a conservative media activist. He is a commentator for Blaze TV and was on Breibart. So his support for Trump is no coincidence, it is consistent with his positions.
The former pitcher has said that, because of his political positions, support for the president and his comments about the presidential election and alleged “voter fraud,” he has been relegated from making it to the Hall of Fame.
Of course, Schilling’s figure is exceedingly controversial, much more so than the rest of the athletes and former athletes reviewed.
But, even so, that Schilling is being affected by his personal positions and opinions, shows that athletes can not support or express their ideas with 100% freedom because they can be retaliated against.
It makes absolute sense that Schilling has the numbers, impact and talent enough to be a Hall of Famer. But the BBWAA members are instructed to choose Hall members “based on the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contributions to the team(s) on which he played,” and if anything, many of the BBWAA members are transcending the ballgame and going to the “integrity and character” of the ballplayer, purely subjective issues in this particular case.
This year, along with Schilling, slugger Barry Bonds and pitcher Roger Clemens were also within a few votes of the Hall of Fame. The latter two, like the former, have the numbers, but their integrity is in question for alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. In addition, “Bonds has also been accused of domestic violence and Clemens of having a decade-long relationship with a singer who was 15 when they met,” according to Global News.
But Schilling’s sin is not alleged statutory rape, use of performance-enhancing stimulants or some domestic strife; Schilling’s sin is being stubbornly conservative and speaking his opinions, however controversial, without a conciliatory tone.
C. Trent Rosencrans, president of the BBWAA, said he voted against Schilling out of concern for what he might say at a Hall of Fame induction. “We’ve seen what Curt Schilling does with a platform, and it’s been chilling,” he told the Associated Press.
In the end, freedom of speech for athletes has a limit: the controversy and outrage generated by an opinion contrary to the media establishment. Especially if you are white.