Add ESPN to the institutions that are steering away from Donald Trump in light of his controversial remarks about Mexican immigrants.
The network announced on Monday that the ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic scheduled for July 14 in Los Angeles is being moved from Trump National Golf Club to Pelican Hill Golf Club.
Here is the official statement, per ESPN’s Josh Krulewitz:
“We decided it was appropriate to change the venue, and are grateful for the opportunity to stage the event at Pelican Hill on short notice. This charity outing benefits The V Foundation’s Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, providing resources for important cancer research for minority populations, including Hispanics and African Americans. Our decision reflects our deep feelings for our former colleague and support for inclusion of all sports fans. Diversity and inclusion are core values at ESPN and our decision also supports that commitment.”
For those who may be unfamiliar with the circumstances surrounding ESPN’s decision, Trump made the comments in question while announcing his running as a Republican candidate for president. Among the issues he discussed was his concern that the U.S. was becoming a “dumping ground” for the world’s problems.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems… they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Given a chance to walk back those comments or apologize, Trump instead doubled down on his assertions during an interview on CNN with Don Lemon last week. Lemon pointed out that the report Trump cited in justifying his “rapists” remarks documented immigrants being raped during their travels across the border, rather than immigrants committing rape upon arriving in the U.S.
“Well, somebody’s doing the raping, Don,” Trump replied. “I mean, you know, somebody’s doing it. Who’s doing the raping? How can you say such a thing?”
Since making those inflammatory comments, NBC Universal, Univision, Macy’s and Serta have cut ties with Trump. The billionaire and reality TV star admitted over the weekend that his remarks and the ensuing controversy have hurt his brand. Well, he appears to be right about one thing, at least.
Now, ESPN is joining the aforementioned companies in ending their association with Trump. Having its charity golf tournament intended to benefit The V Foundation and the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund tied in any way with a controversial figure, one who’s fast becoming radioactive, certainly isn’t a good luck for those organizations, the ESPYs or ESPN.