NFL Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton said NBA stars who plan to refuse a White House invitation from Donald Trump are “stupid.”
If athletes don’t want to go to the White House because they dislike Trump, that’s their problem, Tarkenton told TMZ.
“If a president of the United States, our No. 1 guy, invites you and you’re gonna boycott it? Why? It’s stupid,” Tarkenton said.
Tarkenton continued: “Nobody boycotted Obama because he’s black did they? No. They all went there because he was our president. And you respect our president, no matter whether you’re for him or not.”
Tarkenton was responding to reports that Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert said he will not go to the White House if the Cavaliers won another NBA championship.
Shumpert’s teammate LeBron James — who has criticized Trump and campaigned for Hillary Clinton — refused to say if he’d go to the White House.
“I don’t know,” James said, as reported by the Akron Beacon-Journal. “We’ll have to cross that road, I guess. We’ll see. I would love to have to cross that road.”
— ABC News (@ABC) December 6, 2016
Meanwhile, Tarkenton said if they don’t want to go to the White House, who cares? “If they don’t want to go there, so what?” he said. “That’s disrespectful, is it not? It’s nuts.”
To be fair, other athletes have refused a White House invitation from President Obama, the Sun Sentinel reported.
In 2013, NFL Hall of Famers Jim Langer, Bob Kuechenberg, and Manny Fernandez (of the 1972 Miami Dolphins) all declined an invitation from Obama, citing political differences.
Fran Tarkenton also blasted the media’s biased coverage of Trump and said he’s confident the brash billionaire will turn the country around.
“The media, thank God, don’t run our country,” Tarkenton said. “The media’s a bunch of hacks.”
Tarkenton added: “Businessmen built this great city; the media didn’t build [New York City]. You will see great things because Trump knows how to get things done.”
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