During his first term in office, President Donald Trump was involved in verbal diatribes in social media with some of the most famous stars on the US sports scene.
From LeBron James to Stephen Curry and from Magic Johnson to Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich, several players and coaches have never made a secret of their contempt for the President.
James and Curry are among the athletes who supported Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ahead of the November 3 presidential election, but Trump has his own support in the world of sports.
Former NFL star Herschel Walker renewed his support for the Republican incumbent last week, calling him the best man to lead the country and a victim of media misrepresentation.
“It’s hard because we’ve become so political today, and the worst thing you can say to someone today is that they’re ‘a racist,'” the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner told former FOX sports host Clay Travis on OutKick last week.
“They take pieces and parts of a speech and try to make him a racist, and that’s very, very sad for me and the reason I got involved.
Walker, who played for Trump’s own New Jersey Generals in the now defunct USFL, subsequently praised Trump’s leadership qualities.
“This man is not a racist, he is the best man to lead this country right now,” he continued.
“He is the best man to lead this country, and I wanted people to know the truth. I don’t get paid and I don’t get anything out of it, I just love America and I want America to know the truth.
Walker had renewed his support for Trump at the Republican National Convention in August, where he was joined by his colleague, former NFL player Jack Brewer, who also accused the media of falsely portraying Trump as a racist.
“I know what racism looks like, I’ve seen it firsthand,” said Brewer, who once supported Barack Obama.
“America, it bears no resemblance to President Trump. I’m sick of the way he is portrayed in the media, which refuses to acknowledge what he has actually done for the black community.
Two-time all-pro linebacker Shawne Merriman and seven-time pro-bowl selector Nick Mangold have both thrown their weight behind Trump in the past, as have the Las Vegas Raiders guarding Richie Incognito.
Several NFL owners have long been in the President’s camp, including Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones, owner of the New York Jets and current U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Woody Johnson, and Stephen Ross, head of the Miami Dolphins.
According to the Washington Post, the latter organized two separate fundraisers for Trump last August, raising $12 million.
Former Chicago Bears trainer Mike Ditka is also firmly in Trump’s camp, but ESPN analyst Rex Ryan, who introduced Trump at a rally in Buffalo when he was the Bills’ trainer four years ago, has admitted that he wishes he had never supported him.
Two-time major golf champion John Daly had no such scruples, and in April he recorded a video for the Trump organization’s official YouTube channel at one of the president’s golf clubs.
Outside of football, the former New York Yankees and Mets club, Darryl Strawberry, was also among those attending the August Republican convention. Strawberry, who praised Trump 2017 in an interview with Sports Illustrated for “being very kind and caring about people,” is one of several former MLB players behind Trump.
Earlier this week, two-time world champion Aubrey Huff tweeted that he expects Trump to be comfortably behind California, despite the fact that the President is an average of 26 points behind in the state of Biden and California last voted for a Republican candidate in 1988.
Two-time World Series winner Johnny Damon has also long been a supporter of Trump, as has his former New York Yankees teammate, Mariano Rivera, who last year said the President was doing “his best for the United States of America.
The former Boston Red Sox pitcher, Curt Schilling, was also an outspoken Trump supporter, claiming last year that his conservative political views cost him a place in the MLB Hall of Fame.
Clay Buchholz, who won two World Series titles with the Red Sox, has publicly supported the Republican candidate in the past, as has Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer.
Meanwhile, Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki wore a Make America Great Again when the team visited the White House to celebrate their 2019 World Series triumph, but subsequently told USA Today that he was just trying to “have some fun” rather than make a political statement.
UFC President Dana White, on the other hand, was only too happy to make a political statement when he addressed the Republican Congress in August after donating about $1 million to a pro-trump campaign in November.