Every time Donald Trump has fought with athletes

Every time Donald Trump has fought with athletes


President Trump waves as he attends the College Football Playoff National Championship game between the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia. (Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Donald Trump has spent quite a few of his 357 days in office bickering with the world of sport. He’s picked fights and trolled professional and college athletes. He’s made objectionable remarks that have led the sports world to rebuke his administration. He’s invited and uninvited championship teams to visit the White House.

But long before the Trump presidency, The Donald had a history of talking about sports and trolling professional athletes. He’s made fun of owners and general managers, cast fictional hall of fame votes, and switched alliances.

Here’s a comprehensive list of every time Donald Trump has brought up sports or fought with athletes or other members of the sports world, compiled by searching the Trump Twitter Archive (because if he thinks or says something, you know he’s tweeted about it, too) and cross-referencing his remarks with athletes’ reactions. Are we missing any? Comment below or email us (jacob.bogage@washpost.com) so we can keep the running tally going.

July 13, 2012

The “Freeh Report” at Penn State finds legendary coach Joe Paterno and university administrators had known of assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s child abuse for years and hid it from authorities. Trump tweets the Penn State program should be suspended.

The Football program at Penn State should be suspended.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 13, 2012

July 16, 2012

Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez is struggling midway through the season, and Trump is not pleased.

A drug free A-Rod is just an average baseball player.@Yankees will soon move him down in the batting order & should renegotiate his contract

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2012

Dec. 4, 2012

Robert Griffin III has swept Washington off its feet and delivered the Redskins to the playoffs. Trump is also an RGIII fan.

@Redskins QB @RGIII is a very special player. He is exciting to watch and smart on the field. Amazing talent.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2012

Jan. 14, 2013

Peyton Manning throws for 290 yards and three touchdowns in a playoff loss to Baltimore, but Trump only wants to talk about one play.

Peyton Manning should have passed on 3rd down!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2013

Jan. 17, 2013

It’s time to cast votes for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and Trump wants to help out his friend, Pete Rose, who is famously banned from the game for gambling.

All time hit leader Pete Rose should now be in the Baseball Hall Of Fame. He has paid his penalty!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2013

March, 20, 2013

Who really knows what Trump means in this tweet? Regardless, he’s pretty upset the NFL is trying to make football safer. This is Trump’s first tweet criticizing the league, which has become a favorite target of his in recent months.

The NFL has just barred ball carriers from using helmet as contact. What is happening to the sport? The beginning of the end.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 20, 2013

April 3, 2013

Rutgers fires men’s basketball coach Mike Rice after an “Outside the Lines” investigation reveals Rice physically and verbally abused players. Trump thinks Rice was going easy on the Knights.

The basketball coach at Rutgers looks bad but I had a coach who made him look like a baby – coaches can be tough!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 3, 2013

May 29, 2013

Tim Tebow completed 6 of 8 passes for 39 yards in 2012 for the New York Jets, but Trump thinks he deserves another shot at the NFL.

.@TimTebow has tremendous talent and a proven ability to lead. He deserves to be in the @nfl.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2013

July 26, 2013

Alex Rodriguez is back in Trump’s crosshairs during the Yankee’s injury- and scandal-riddled season. Rodriguez struggled to successfully complete minor league rehab assignments and was the public face of the Biogenesis steroid scandal. Trump is displeased.

Druggie @AROD is now scheming to sue the @Yankees. He will go down as the biggest sports embarrassment of all time.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2013

Sept. 22, 2013

Grr! Trump is mad with the NFL again! This time, referees are throwing too many flags, making the Jets-Bills game unwatchable.

Referees are destroying the enjoyment of NFL games. Slowing down the fun. Big shots. Jets game is ridiculous!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 22, 2013

Oct. 29, 2013

Donald Trump is ready to be an NFL general manager.

I just don’t know why some of these NFL teams with lousy quarterbacks don’t give Tim Tebow a chance – what do they have to lose?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2013

Nov. 17, 2013

Rutgers defensive back Jevon Tyree claims an assistant football coach bullied and verbally abused him. Trump doesn’t buy it and harks back to the good old days when football coaches pretty much said anything they wanted.

I wonder what the late, great Vince Lombardi would say about the Rutgers football player who says he is being bullied because coach yelled?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2013

Football coaches are no longer allowed to scream and yell at their players because it is discriminatory,racist and can be viewed as bullying

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2013

And then, for unknown reasons, global warming makes an appearance in Trump’s Twitter tirade.

I wonder if the Rutgers coach who had the audacity to yell at the player is a proponent of global warming?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2013

Nov. 18, 2013

And, we’re back on Penn State, a subject on which Trump has changed his mind. A day earlier, he claimed the university should fight the NCAA and the conclusions of the Freeh Report, and that by making a financial settlement, the school needlessly soiled Paterno’s legacy.

How did the NCAA, which is weak and becoming irrelevant, extract such a big & reputation shattering settlement from Penn State. Others zero!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2013

Feb. 23, 2014

Host country Russia wins 33 medals in the Sochi Winter Olympics. The United States wins 28, second best in the world. Trump is furious. He blames the loss on then-President Barack Obama.

Russia beat the United States in the Olympics-another Obama embarrassment! Isn’t it time that we turn things around and start kicking ass?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2014

April 5, 2014

The Donald Trump vs. Mark Cuban rivalry heats up! After Cuban was rumored to be interested in purchasing the Chicago Cubs, Trump makes sure he gets in a tweet to kneecap his wealthier rival.

Major League Baseball was really smart when they wouldn’t let Mark Cuban buy a team. Was it his financials or the fact that he’s an asshole?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 5, 2014

Sept. 17, 2014

Trump goes on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” in the morning to lament the decline of the NFL, which he calls “the no fun league.” Days later, he claims the NFL is at the start of a death spiral.

The NFL image is really tarnished! Now, if the sponsors start leaving and the ratings go down, the NFL will be in big trouble. Boring games!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2014

And he says the IRS should revoke the league’s tax-exempt status.

The NFL should have its non-profit status immediately revoked while at the same time ending the giant tax scam which makes teams so valuable

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2014

Oct. 5, 2014

Trump is done with NFL football, he proclaims. Finished! The games are too slow and boring, and the game is getting too soft for his taste. He’s got to get back to work! Focus!

I don’t know what it is, but I’m getting totally bored watching NFL football. Too many penalties and far too soft! T.V. off and back to work

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2014

I’m not going to be watching much NFL football anymore. Too time consuming, too boring, too many flags and too soft. Focus on other things!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2014

Feb. 1, 2015

The Patriots win the Super Bowl because the Seahawks throw an interception at the 1 yard-line as time expires. Trump says he would have known better than that.

Love that Patriots won – Brady is best ever! Seahawks pass was DUMBEST play in the history of football! Great going COACH B!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2015

He also begins picking on Marshawn Lynch, then the Seahawks running back and considered the best rusher in football. During the playoffs, Lynch famously refused to talk to reporters telling them he showed up at news conferences “so I don’t get fined.”

I wonder if Marshawn Lynch will now speak and call some coach a moron for not allowing him to run the ball three times for one yard?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2015

May 20, 2015 

Tom Brady and Patriots owner Bob Kraft, one of Trump’s close friends, are in the middle of the Deflate-gate scandal, and Trump lends a hand.

There is no way my friend Bob Kraft agreed not to appeal the NFL decision without making a deal to at least get something. We love Tom Brady

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2015

June 16, 2015

Trump declares his candidacy for the presidency, and rides down an escalator at Trump Tower in New York to declare that Mexicans are rapists and that he’ll make America great again.

July 14, 2015

It seems Trump might run on a platform on honoring Pete Rose with this tweet, but he largely stays away from sports controversies during his presidential run.

Let Pete Rose into the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s time, he has paid a big and very long price!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2015

July 29, 2016

Democratic primary debates coincide with Sunday night NFL football games, and Trump is very concerned Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is not getting his fair share of face time.

As usual, Hillary & the Dems are trying to rig the debates so 2 are up against major NFL games. Same as last time w/ Bernie. Unacceptable!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2016

Nov. 8, 2016

Trump wins the electoral college, 304-227, but loses the popular vote by 3 million ballots or 2 percent of votes cast.

Jan. 20

Trump takes office promising to end days of “American carnage.”

Sept. 22-24

Trump has settled into the White House and after months of tumultuous governing has made the NBA champions Golden State Warriors wary of visiting to celebrate their title.

“My views haven’t changed at all. I don’t know if anybody’s changed. But that’s where I stand right now,” star guard Stephen Curry said. “I don’t want to go. That’s my nucleus of my belief.”

Fine, Trump said. Invitation revoked!

Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017

“Basically the things he said and the things he hasn’t said at the right times, we won’t stand for it,” Curry added. “By acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what’s accepted and what we turn a blind eye to.”

Then Trump began his most well-known spat with the sports world.

At a rally in Alabama for a failed Senate candidate, Trump told the crowd NFL owners should cut players who demonstrate during the national anthem, something quarterback Colin Kaepernick has done since 2016.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of 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!’” Trump said at the rally.

The next day, every NFL team held some sort of demonstration during the national anthem. Some teams remained in the locker room during “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Some players sat or knelt during the anthem or raised a fist in protest.

Trump doubled down with his attacks on players throughout the day.

If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017

Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL should change policy!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017

Sept. 25-Oct. 23

Trump continues attacks on the NFL and its players, who continue to demonstrate during the national anthem.

Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017

On Oct. 8, Trump sent Vice President Pence to an Indianapolis Colts game with orders to leave immediately if players demonstrated during the national anthem. Sure enough, they did, and Pence and his wife Karen departed Lucas Oil Stadium before kickoff.

It is about time that Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2017

Nov. 15

Three UCLA men’s basketball players, including LiAngelo Ball, are arrested in China on shoplifting charges. Trump helped secure their release and preemptively declared “you’re welcome.”

To the three UCLA basketball players I say: You’re welcome, go out and give a big Thank You to President Xi Jinping of China who made…..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2017

….your release possible and, HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2017

LaVar Ball, LiAngelo Ball’s outspoken father and founder of Big Baller Brand, refused to thank the president, though, which prompted Trump to tweet that he should have left the students in jail.

Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2017

Jan. 4 

Trump still harps on NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.

So beautiful….Show this picture to the NFL players who still kneel! https://t.co/tJLM1tvbvb

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2018

Jan. 8

Trump attends the first half of the College Football Playoff national championship game and appears confounded by the words of the national anthem as he stands with a color guard at midfield.

Jan. 11

In a meeting with bipartisan legislators, Trump decries immigration from “shithole countries” including Haiti, El Salvador and the African continent.

Professional athletes, some of Haitian, Salvadoran and African nationality and descent, are quick to condemn Trump’s remarks.

Im not surprised by anything he says and does. Im only surprised that we are allowing it.

— Olden Polynice (@OldenPolynice1) January 12, 2018

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