Even if you don’t watch sports, you’re probably aware that President Donald Trump took on the NFL and the World Champion Golden State Warriors this past weekend.
President Trump went on a tirade against NFL players that choose to kneel during the National Anthem on Friday during a campaign event for Sen. Luther Strange, stating: “"Wouldn't you love to see one these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he's fired. He's fired!'”
If that weren’t enough, the President also rescinded a White House invitation to the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry. Trump Tweeted, "Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!" It’s worth noting that two-time MVP had already stated he wasn’t going to the White House. And after the President’s remarks, the entire team made the decision that they would not go to the White House.
Although Trump’s recent foray into the world of sports may seem odd, he actually has a long history injecting himself into the athletic world. Keep reading to check out five Trumpian sports connections you may be unaware of.
His Lawyer is the Descendant of a Baseball Legend
In July, Trump hired experienced corruption lawyer Ty Cobb, the descendant of a controversial baseball legend of the same name, in relation to the alleged Russia-collusion controversy. Cobb, a Harvard graduate, previously defended Democratic Party fundraiser John Huang in 1999 and CIA whistleblower Mary McCarthy in 2005.
Interestingly, Cobb is the distant relative of legendary baseball Hall of Famer Ty Cobb, who played 22 seasons in the majors with the Detroit Tigers and the Philadelphia Athletics. Cobb, who is said to have set 90 MLB records, was elected into the first Hall of Fame—earning more votes than Babe Ruth.
Although he is considered one of the greatest ballplayers ever, Cobb’s career has been tarnished due to accusations of racism.
He Owned a Professional Football Team
While many of Trump’s failed business ventures are well known, not everyone is aware of the fact the he owned a United States Football League team named the New Jersey Generals from 1984-1985. The defunct USFL only lasted three seasons and was conceived as a summer alternative during the NFL’s off months.
Despite its position as a summer football league, Trump urged for direct competition with the NFL. Trump actually believed that the USFL and NFL would ultimately merge. In 1986, the USFL brought a $1.69 billion antitrust lawsuit against the NFL and won $3. They actually won $1, but damages in antitrust cases are tripled.
The league folded soon thereafter.
He Was a Famous Boxer’s Financial Advisor
In the 1980s, Trump hosted several boxing matches at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, including the 1988 World Championship fight between Mike Tyson and Michael Spinks. Trump also served as Tyson's promoter and as the heavyweight champ’s financial advisor. The details of the pair’s financial relationship are unclear, but their partnership ended when Tyson signed with boxing promoter Don King. After departing team Trump, Tyson received a $2 million bill from Trump.
Despite their once strained relationship, Tyson endorsed Trump for President in October 2015.
He Sponsored a Cycling Event
In 1989, Trump lent his name to a short-lived cycling stage race, which was intended to be a North American equivalent to the Tour de France.
Trump sponsored the event, known as the Tour de Trump in ’89 and ’90. Trump withdrew his sponsorship in 1990, and DuPont became the primary sponsor. Controversial American cyclist Lance Armstrong won the final Tour de DuPont in 1996. He also won in 1995.
He Was Scouted by Major League Baseball Teams
Before he was real estate mogul, Trump was a talented high school baseball player. In fact, Trump was good enough to be scouted by both the Philadelphia Phillies and the Boston Red Sox.
Trump passed up the chance to play baseball out of high school and decided to go Fordham University. He later transferred to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania; where he graduated from in 1968.
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