cloudyn.png
Saturday December 7th, 2019 4:00AM

Trump's sports kick is about politics, but fans have a say

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is on a sports kick.

He's attended a World Series game, hosted the champion Washington Nationals , gone to New York for a mixed martial arts tournament and gotten in some chilly rounds of golf. And on Saturday, he planned to be at the college football showdown between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Trump's re-election campaign has made the most of sporting events by airing a pricey television ad during the World Series.

Trump attended Game 5 of the series and days later brought the Nationals to the White House. He had a close-up seat for the Ultimate Fighting Championship at Madison Square Garden. Next month, Trump might flip a coin again at the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia, continuing a presidential tradition dating to President Theodore Roosevelt. In January 2018, Trump attended the Alabama-Georgia national title game in Atlanta.

Presidents have long used sporting events to woo support, but these events also are a venue for fans to express their own political leanings.

Both loud boos and cheers could be heard as Trump took his seat ahead of the recent pay-per-view UFC title match. That greeting was warmer than the reception Trump received at the World Series at Nationals Park, when he was roundly booed and became the target of a "Lock him up!" chant.

He's headed to friendlier turf for Saturday's big game.

"I love Alabama," Trump said Friday. "I'm going to go watch a very good football game, which is tomorrow with LSU, and it's going to be great"

Still, even in Alabama, where he won 63% of the vote in 2016, the president generated some controversy. Alabama's student government association has warned students against being disruptive, but says their First Amendment rights will not being muzzled.

"Regardless of your political views, that's pretty cool, having the president at the game," said LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.

Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III said, "Just for him even wanting to come to this game, it just shows, like I said, the magnitude of the game."

For Trump, the game is both football and politics.

He's been studiously neutral in the Alabama-LSU matchup.

Trump has been enthusiastically supporting Republican businessman Eddie Rispone's effort to unseat Louisiana's incumbent Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards in the last governor's race of the year. The gubernatorial runoff election in Louisiana offers Trump an opportunity to pick up a win in a rare Democratic-held governor's seat in the Deep South. He attended a rally in Monroe, Louisiana on Wednesday and he'll be back in the state this coming week, two days before Louisiana voters head to polls.

"This Saturday, I'm going to be at a certain game. Let's see, it's LSU versus a pretty good team from Alabama," Trump said in Monroe. "I hear you have a great quarterback. We're going to see. But I'm actually going to the game. I said 'That's the game I want to go to.' That will be tremendous. Two great teams."

The game comes two days after Trump's former attorney general, Jeff Sessions, announced he is going to run again for his old Senate seat from Alabama. Sessions was the first senator to back Trump's upstart campaign and worked to champion conservative causes as attorney general, but the president has never forgiven Sessions for withdrawing from overseeing the Russia investigation led by former special counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump said Friday he won't campaign against Sessions, but his weekend trip south could give him an opportunity to weigh in on the Senate race.

Some examples of presidents as football fans:

—President William Howard Taft attended the LSU-Sewanee game in October 1909 in New Orleans.

—President John F. Kennedy went to the Alabama-Oklahoma game on New Year's Day in 1963 in Miami.

—In December 1969, President Richard Nixon was at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to watch Texas play Arkansas.

—President Bill Clinton watched Arkansas play Louisiana Tech in September 1997 at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Online Football, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, College Sports, AP Elections - Campaigns, AP Sports - College Baseball, AP Sports - Major League Baseball, AP Sports - College Football
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trump's sports kick is about politics, but fans have a say
President Donald Trump is on a sports kick, taking in baseball, a wrestling tournament and college football in recent days
12:23AM ( 5 minutes ago )
Trump tried hard to win Ukraine Biden probes, officials say
White House officials testify about Ukraine dealing
12:16AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Harris, Warren compete for support from black female voters
Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren are competing for the support of black women, who are the Democratic Party's most loyal and consistent voters
12:11AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Memphis' Wiseman has temporary restraining order to play
Memphis center James Wiseman has a temporary restraining order to play while the heralded freshman fights an NCAA ruling that he's ineligible to play for coach Penny Hardaway and the Tigers
11:14PM ( 1 hour ago )
Wiseman gets restraining order to play; Memphis wins
James Wiseman had 17 points and nine rebounds hours after getting a temporary restraining order to play amid an NCAA ineligibility ruling, leading No. 14 Memphis past Illinois-Chicago 92-46
11:03PM ( 1 hour ago )
Judge grants USWNT class status in discrimination lawsuit
The U.S. women's national team was granted class status in its lawsuit against U.S. Soccer that alleges gender discrimination in compensation and working conditions
10:24PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Astros president Ryan shifts to lesser role with team
Astros president Reid Ryan is shifting to a lesser role and owner Jim Crane's son is joining the executive team, moves announced 11 days after Crane apologized to a reporter and retracted a statement by the club
9:05PM ( 1 day ago )
Crisis throws curve ball at opening of Venezuelan baseball
Venezuela's beloved Winter League baseball season has opened with hundreds of cheering fans converging on the stadium in Caracas and elsewhere throughout the crisis-torn South American nation
1:52PM ( 2 days ago )
Strong ending helps World Series avoid record low viewership
The deciding game of the Astros-Nationals World Series reached more than 23 million viewers
5:43PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Online Baseball
They're unbeaten too: No. 5 Penn State at No. 13 Minnesota
They're undefeated, too: No. 5 Penn State plays at No. 13 Minnesota in unexpected Big Ten showdown
3:49PM ( 8 hours ago )
Chiefs' Mahomes to start against Titans, barring setbacks
Patrick Mahomes will start for the Kansas City Chiefs against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday
3:48PM ( 8 hours ago )
Falcons QB Ryan to return from ankle injury against Saints
Falcons QB Matt Ryan set to return from sprained ankle and play against Saints
1:58PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Online Football
7 Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers detained or face arrest
Seven Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers have either been detained or face arrest Saturday, in a move expected to escalate public fury during months of unrest
10:34PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Steve Bannon testifies in Roger Stone trial
Steve Bannon says Donald Trump's campaign viewed Roger Stone as an "access point" to WikiLeaks
9:20PM ( 3 hours ago )
Top Iowa aide to Steyer's campaign resigns after AP report
A top Iowa aide to businessman Tom Steyer has resigned a day after The Associated Press revealed he had privately offered campaign contributions to local politicians in exchange for endorsing Steyer's White House bid
8:50PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Da Silva's release brings new energy to Brazil's opposition
Brazil's former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is released from prison
8:05PM ( 4 hours ago )
Brazilian ex-president released from imprisonment
Brazil's former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is released from prison
6:50PM ( 5 hours ago )
Biden has 'no problem' with Bloomberg running for president
Joe Biden said Friday that he welcomes the possibility of billionaire Michael Bloomberg joining the crowded presidential field seeking the Democratic nomination
6:01PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Elections
No. 6 Georgia faces Missouri in another key SEC East game
No. 6 Georgia will be playing to strengthen its SEC East lead when it plays Missouri
3:04PM ( 1 day ago )
Falcons assistant Morris returns to defensive roots
Raheem Morris returning to his roots as a defensive coach, and the Atlanta Falcons hope it will help save their season
1:47PM ( 1 day ago )
Taylor Swift to perform concert at Final Four in Atlanta
Taylor Swift will perform a free concert at Centennial Olympic Park during the men's Final Four weekend.
11:54AM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
The Latest: Trump blames urban crime on Democratic mayors
President Donald Trump is trying to appeal to African American voters by citing crime problems in the nation's major cities, saying the vast majority of the nation's most dangerous cities are run by Democrats
3:53PM ( 8 hours ago )
The Latest: Carson encourages black voters to support Trump
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is encouraging black voters in Georgia to get out and talk to their family and friends in support of President Donald Trump
3:44PM ( 8 hours ago )
Steve Bannon testifies for prosecution Roger Stone trial
Steve Bannon appeared as a reluctant witness Friday in the federal criminal trial of political operative Roger Stone
3:14PM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Ex-University of Delaware athlete found guilty of rape
An ex-University of Delaware baseball player was convicted Friday of raping a woman whom he met online
5:06PM ( 1 month ago )
'Hopalong' Cassady, Ohio State Heisman winner, dies at 85
Howard "Hopalong" Cassady, Ohio State Heisman winner and Detroit Lions running back, dies at 85
11:35AM ( 1 month ago )
Ohio State University seeks to trademark the word 'The'
Ohio State University wants to trademark the word "The" when used as part of the school's name on university merchandise
1:45PM ( 2 months ago )
AP Sports - College Baseball
Beltrán: Need to be "best friend" to Mets' GM as manager
First-year Mets manager Carlos Beltrán says general manager Brodie Van Wagenen will have to be his "best friend" as part of their new professional relationship
5:18PM ( 4 days ago )
Venezuelan baseball league starts amid sanctions
The Venezuelan baseball league will start this week amid uncertainty because of Washington's sanctions against the administration of President Nicolas Maduro
5:10PM ( 4 days ago )
World Series champ Nationals take celebration to White House
President Donald Trump is welcoming the World Series champion Nationals to the White House
4:03PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
LSU tries to end its recent frustrating history with Alabama
SEC's most anticipated game of season finally arrives this week as No. 1 LSU visits No. 2 Alabama
4:05AM ( 1 day ago )
No. 22 Wake's visit to Virginia Tech headlines ACC weekend
No. 22 Wake Forest visits Virginia Tech in the biggest game of the weekend in the Atlantic Coast Conference
4:01AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Top 25 Podcast: Which job is better? Florida St or USC?
The Florida State job is open and Southern California probably will be soon, too
5:52PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - College Football
Trump tried hard to win Ukraine Biden probes, officials say
White House officials testify about Ukraine dealing
12:16AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Harris, Warren compete for support from black female voters
Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren are competing for the support of black women, who are the Democratic Party's most loyal and consistent voters
12:11AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Last victim of Mexico border killings to be laid to rest
Family and friends are burying the last victim of a cartel ambush that slaughtered nine American women and children from a community of U.S.-Mexican dual citizens in a corner of north Mexico where having gangsters in their midst has been a fact of life
12:06AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Ex-leader's release buoys Brazil's left, angers the right
Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's release from jail has fired up Brazil's weakened opposition, though it's likely to anger conservatives who considered his incarceration proof the country was finally serious about ending corruption
12:04AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Trump pushes back on reports US will remove China tariffs
Trump says he hasn't agreed to reduce China tariffs in ongoing trade talks
11:51PM ( 38 minutes ago )