Trump in sports


Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Arizona. The Republican nominee for president has a long background relating to professional sports.

Kellen Kavanagh, Staff Writer

When looking at Donald Trump’s nonchalant smirk and iconic hair, athleticism is probably not the first thing to come to mind. Shockingly, Trump was a three sport athlete in high school, and even had two MLB teams scouting him for his pitching prowess. Even more surprisingly, he played varsity soccer for a season. FOX Sports has jokingly assumed he played right wing. Trump chose to eventually graduate from Penn instead of going pro, and the rest is history. He started his business and made huge amounts of money.

With this cash, Trump did what any rich, young man would do: he bought a football team. In 1984, for a reported sum of 9 million dollars, Trump bought the New Jersey Generals of the USFL. There’s a reason you’ve probably never heard of the USFL. The idea behind the league was to play all of their games in spring, so that bored football fans could still see games. The league was all about entertainment. George Foreman, the legendary boxer-inventor, once presided over a wedding as a halftime show. Trump fit right in.

Fast forward two years later and the league had folded, largely because of Trump. He wanted to play in the fall on the same schedule as the NFL. He hoped it would eventually lead to a merger between the two leagues. Instead, after winning a court settlement of exactly three dollars and 76 cents, the USFL folded, and Trump lost his team and investment. It comes as of little surprise that in 2014, when Trump expressed interest in buying the Buffalo Bills, the team accepted a different offer. He did promise to keep the team in Buffalo, which came as a surprise to most people. In true Trump fashion, he took to Twitter to rant about it shortly after the decision was made.

As recently as a year ago, Trump expressed interest in buying one of Argentina’s best soccer clubs: San Lorenzo. Comically, this happens to be Pope Francis’ favorite team. Negotiations stalled shortly after a public announcement was made.

Simultaneously, Trump was also trying to buy the Colombian soccer club Atletico Nacional for a sum of 100 million dollars. Yes, neither of these deals actually happened, but it’s still impressive that he was able to attempt to negotiate two purchases of soccer clubs at the same time all while running for the presidency.

Aside from owning teams, Trump’s new favorite sport is golf. He owns several golf courses and plays a lot. The PGA was pressured earlier this year to take their tournaments off of his golf courses due to his racist and sexist statements. Obviously, he is not a professional. Even though he didn’t go on to play pro baseball, he is pro in another sport. In fact, Donald Trump is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame. By a technicality, this makes Trump a professional athlete. Trump first hosted Wrestlemania at his casino in Atlantic City, leading to a longstanding friendship with Vince McMahon. This lead to a showdown between the two in the popular Battle of the Billionaires series. Trump selected pro fighter Bobby Lashley to fight on his behalf. Lashley defeated McMahon’s hired gun, and Trump famously shaved McMahon’s hair in the ring. Trump has even executed a fundamentally sound chair takedown in one event.

Trump is a true New Yorker—his favorite teams are the Yankees and the Mets. Yes, the Yankees and the Mets. It’s kind of an unwritten rule you don’t like both New York teams. It’s similar to liking the Seahawks and the 49ers. He’s been seen sitting behind home plate at both stadiums, and has worn jerseys of each team. While this blatant show of bandwagon culture may be enough for many people to not vote for him, just remember that Hilary has publicly stated that she supports both the Yankees and the Cubs. Good grief.