Yet another group of elite athletes has revealed that they refused to subject themselves to the disgusting disappointment promised by a visit to Donald Trump’s White House. One crucial fact seems to have been overlooked in favor of the well-deserved disgust over the president’s room-temperature value meal.
The Root spoke with three black Clemson players who each separately confirmed that many players, both black and white, had no interest in making the trip. All three acknowledged that Donald Trump was the reason they chose not to attend. Even more telling, most of Clemson’s white players were in attendance while nearly three-fourths of the school’s black football players took a hard pass on the chance to eat cold fries with the president of people who eat salads from McDonald’s.
The players, speaking under anonymity, reported that just 15 black players—out of at least 57 on the roster—opted to smash cold pizza with the popular vote loser on January 14. That means roughly three out of four black players chose to stay home, which actually is better than the Grifter in Chief’s polling with African Americans.
Overall, just two-thirds of the entire team attended. “Players were talking amongst each other but everybody was like: ‘I’m not going to that,’” one player, described simply as an “offensive star,” told Michael Harriot.
Another player, a “defensive standout,” was sure to insist that the players weren’t under any pressure to attend by team leaders or school officials. He didn’t know a single black player who wanted the dubious honor of meeting with the racist and chief, but indicated that a quick glance at the roster of those who did choke down the warm salads and cold fish sandwiches had ulterior motivations.
(S)ome players only attended because they worried that refusing to attend the traditional White House visit might affect their scholarships or playing time.
“Not saying anything against the players who went,” the junior explained, “but if you look at who went—freshman and people fighting for playing time—you’ll see what I’m talking about.”
Harriot’s research supports the player’s assessment.
Fifteen of the University’s black players listed on the school’s official roster attended the White House visit, the vast majority of whom (11) were freshmen or sophomores who had very little playing time during the season. Just one senior made the trip and only six of the players in attendance were even listed on Clemson’s national championship depth chart.
Again, all three of the players interviewed insist that they were not pressured to eat soggy French fries with the president, nor were they placed under a gag order. When asked for comment, Clemson’s associate vice president for strategic communications, Joe Galbraith, didn’t list “The President is a raving racist” as a reason for so many players of color choosing not to inhale greasy food with the faker-in-chief.
“For a variety of reasons, several players were not able to adjust schedules to make the trip.
“On the championship game roster, 26 players had already received their bachelor’s degree, and had no planned obligations on campus beginning that week,” the email added. “Other student-athletes had class obligations as the spring semester began the week prior.”
The Root notes that the congealed cheeseburger cha cha was conveniently scheduled during the first week of new classes. Also, professors at a football school like Clemson would be highly likely to grant players a scheduled absence to meet the president, even if his name is Donald Trump.
“So, you think players just wanted to go to classes so bad?” another sophomore member of the team asked rhetorically.
“Folk just didn’t want to go.”
For the record, none of the players hold it against their teammates for breathing the same cheesy air as Individual-1, but there was nothing but laughter when Harriot asked if there were any regrets after learning that the supposed honor was catered from the Dollar Menu.
Again, the group of Trump-avoiding Clemson players are far from the first athletes to skip a White House “honor.” Most visibly, the current NBA champions, Golden State Warriors, have skipped the tradition twice now, opting in 2018 to visit the National Museum of African-American History and Culture instead of the White House. Just last week, instead of begging Trump for Big Macs, the team spent their time in Washington, D.C. with Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.