Last week, failed businessman and blatant racist Donald Trump became the president-elect of the United States. In the aftermath of Trump’s shocking win, a number of pro athletes and coaches spoke out against the man who bragged about sexually assaulting women, while a few hardcore supporters tweeted out the “Make America Great Again” slogan. Others sent out messages pleading for “unity” and “fairness,” two things Trump himself has actively opposed. Many more, including Tom Brady, declined to say anything at all.
Below, we’ve collected the most notable athlete and coach responses to Trump’s win. Email me with any notable omissions, and we’ll update our list.
This list has been updated from its original version to include more coaches and athletes who have since spoken about the election.
I didn’t vote for [George W.] Bush, but he was a good, honorable man with whom I had political differences, so I didn’t vote for him. But for our country to be where we are now, who took a guy who—I don’t care what anyone says, I’m sure they have other reasons and maybe good reasons for voting for Donald Trump—but I don’t think anybody can deny this guy is openly and brazenly racist and misogynistic and ethnic-centric, and say, “That’s OK with us, we’re going to vote for him anyway.”
We have just thrown a good part of our population under the bus, and I have problems with thinking that this is where we are as a country. …
We just elected an openly, brazen misogynist leader and we should keep our mouths shut and realize that we need to be learning maybe from the rest of the world, because we don’t got anything to teach anybody.
One could go on and on, we didn't make this stuff up. He’s angry at the media because they reported what he said and how he acted. That’s ironic to me. It makes no sense. So that’s my real fear, and that’s what gives me so much pause and makes me feel so badly that the country is willing to be that intolerant and not understand the empathy that's necessary to understand other group's situations.
I’m a rich white guy, and I’m sick to my stomach thinking about it. I can’t imagine being a Muslim right now, or a woman, or an African American, a Hispanic, a handicapped person. How disenfranchised they might feel. And for anyone in those groups that voted for him, it’s just beyond my comprehension how they ignore all of that. My final conclusion is, my big fear is, we are Rome.
Steve Kerr -- "this is my rant" -- for 2+ minutes on the presidential election: "Maybe we should've seen this coming" pic.twitter.com/MJOcSdXxHH— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 10, 2016
Maybe we should’ve seen it coming over the last 10 years. You look at society, you look at what’s popular. People are getting paid millions of dollars to go on TV and scream at each other, whether it’s in sports or politics or entertainment, and I guess it was only a matter of time before it spilled into politics. But then all of a sudden you’re faced with the reality that the man who’s gonna lead you has routinely used racist, misogynist, insulting words. … I wish him well. I hope he’s a good president. I have no idea what kind of president he’ll be because he hasn’t said anything about what he’s going to do. We don’t know. But it’s tough when you want there to be some respect and dignity, and there hasn’t been any. And then you walk into a room with your daughter and your wife who have basically been insulted by his comments and they’re distraught. Then you walk in and see the faces of your players, most of them who have been insulted directly as minorities, it’s very shocking. It really is.
When someone who is elected who has a history of being hateful, of being racist, of being sexist, of saying certain things that are derogatory toward a certain group, it feels like a slap in the face. ... After that election, we’ve got some guys who were really, really hurt because to them, it was a message of, "Hey, you’re not as significant and as important as other people in this country."... I think somebody said it, "You can move somewhere else." We're not going to do that. We're Americans, we live in America, we love America. But America's got some issues. And listen, again, this is not surprising based on the history of America. These issues didn't just crop up. There is a legacy of what happened over time here that is continuing to play out and it's our job to try to move forward.
Evans sat during the national anthem before Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears to protest Trump’s win. He spoke to reporters about it after the game:
I’m not big on politics or things like that, but I told myself, I said, if [Trump gets elected], then America is not right right now. I said this a long time ago. When he ran, I thought it was a joke, and you know, the joke continues. … A reality star can be the president, that’s not a good look for America, I think. Because of who he is. It’s not about the Republican Party or Democratic Party or anything like that. It’s just who he is, and it’s well-documented what he’s done, and I’m not gonna stand for somebody I don’t believe in.
As I woke up today looking and searching for answers on what has happened this song hit it right on the head! If we continue the faith(as hard as it may be to do so) we will BE ALRIGHT!! Parents and leaders of our children please let them know they can still change the world for the better! Don't lose a bit of faith! They're our future and we must remain stronger than ever!! Yes we all wanna lace up the boots, put on the hard hats and strike but that's not the answer. Love, genuine LOVE and FAITH will be the only thing that can get us through this. Minorities and Women in all please know that this isn't the end, it's just a very challenging obstacle that we will overcome!! The man above will never put something in our paths that we can handle no matter how difficult it may feel/be! To all the youth out there I PROMISE I'll continue to lead u guys every single day without no hesitation!! Time to educate and even more mold my children into being the greatest model citizens they can become in life! They will continue the legacy beyond life! Lastly, Even if whos now in office doesn't, Know that I LOVE YOU'LL!!!
On Nov. 11, James made additional comments in Washington, D.C.:
I mean, he's our president. And no matter if you agree with it or disagree with it, he's the guy, and we all have to figure out a way that we can make America as great as it can be. We all have to do our part. Our nation has never been built on one guy, anyway. It's been built on multiple guys, multiple people in power, multiple people having a dream and making it become a reality by giving back to the community, giving back to the youth, doing so many great things.
When asked if he would go to the White House to meet with Trump if the Cavaliers win another championship, James said:
We'll have to cross that road, I guess. We'll see. I would love to have to cross that road.
U.S. women’s national team midfielder Megan Rapinoe:
The last couple of days have been hard to wrap my head around, that this is in fact America, always has been. Hard to wrap my head around the fear people are feeling, the heartache they feel, the sense of unknown and uncertainty. Hard to understand why and how this nation chose division and hatred instead of unity but we did and we have to understand why. Understand one another, and be open hearted and open minded. I will never stand for some of the horrible things the President Elect has said and done and no one ever should. I will work in my public and private life to heal wounds, create understanding, and ultimately try to help us come together, because until we can empathize with one another and understand a better world means a world for everyone, every race, gender, religion, orientation etc, we will continue to have hatred rule our beautiful country. Don't give in to fear, not even for one damn second. Stand tall be smart be open hearted be brave be compassionate and fight like hell. Be the kind of person you want America to be.
Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford:
I'm really over here scared..— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) November 9, 2016
Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith:
How do you explain to this face what happen? You can be a educated women in your field an not get the job because your a women or cause your black? How do you say "go try your best" even though it won't be good enough. How do I even feel confident sending her on play dates knowing the kids family voted for the racist, sexist person an I don't know how they will treat her when she's gone. How? Seriously How? I understand let go and let God! But damn!
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio:
Really America? 😳— Ricky Rubio (@rickyrubio9) November 9, 2016
FC Bayern Munich midfielder Javi Martinez:
Toronto Raptors forward Patrick Patterson:
Dual Citizenship. 💯— Patrick Patterson (@pdpatt) November 9, 2016
I know that so many of my friends and family and people that I look up to [were] in support of Hillary. But at the same time, we have to accept what most of the nation has voted for, and that’s to elect Donald Trump. … I’m trying to go into [Trump’s presidency] with an open mind, but at the same time, I was very optimistic that we were going to have our first female president of this country.
Former NFL linebacker Takeo Spikes:
woke up this morning wishing it was a nightmare & sadly it wasn't. @realDonaldTrump is our President.Expect the worse & pray for the best🙏🏾— Takeo Spikes (@TakeoSpikes51) November 9, 2016
Washington Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr.:
This feels something close to a purge night 🙄#ElectionDay— Wave Papi (@KELLYOUBREJR) November 9, 2016
Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade:
Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter:
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid:
We're All From Africa and will welcome you back— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) November 9, 2016
Well America is tanking!!! All we can do is Trust The Process...— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) November 9, 2016
Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins:
😩— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) November 9, 2016
New York Knicks center Joakim Noah:
How!!!!!— Joakim Noah (@JoakimNoah) November 9, 2016
The message was loud and clear last night. I don’t think there’s any room to not face the obvious truth: that he speaks for the majority of the people in this nation. His attitudes about black people and Muslim people, about women, about just about whatever group you can name, folks agreed with his position. And you can’t deny that because folks voted for him. So this whole fairy-tale about some post-racial, post … this Utopia that Obama supposedly created, it’s all bull. That’s the bottom line. When you look at what the results say from last night, this nation has not moved a thread with its ideals. The things that he said, the things that he represented … that’s the way the majority of this nation feels. He just emboldened them because he was able to say it publicly. It is kind of unnerving and unsettling to think about some of the things that he has said and hasn’t apologized for.
My decision came down to who I felt was a better person for the country. I’m not a Trump supporter. I voted for Hillary. But with Donald Trump coming into presidency, people have to understand what they voted for. I think the negative messages he was sending, that’s not something I would want to endorse and vote for. But it is what it is. We have four years with him, so if you voted for him, I don’t want to hear any complaints. We all got to live with the decisions we made. I’m not a Trump guy, but he’s my President right now.
Trump-supporting New England Patriots who aren’t willing to say they’re supporting Trump
Belichick wrote a letter to Trump that read:
Congratulations on a tremendous campaign. You have dealt with an unbelievable slanted and negative media, and have come out beautifully—beautifully. You’ve proved to be the ultimate competitor and fighter. Your leadership is amazing. I have always had tremendous respect for you, but the toughness and perseverance you have displayed over the past year is remarkable. Hopefully tomorrow’s election results will give the opportunity to make America great again. Best wishes for great results tomorrow.
On Wednesday Nov. 9, Belichick admitted he wrote a letter to Trump out of “friendship.”
I’ve received a number of inquiries relative to a note that I wrote to Donald on Monday. Our friendship goes back many years and I think anybody that’s spent more than five minutes with me knows I’m not a political person. The comments are not politically motivated, I have a friendship and loyalty to Donald. … [A] couple of weeks ago, we had Secretary of State [John] Kerry in our locker room. That’s another friend of mine. I can’t imagine two people with more different political views than those two, but to me friendship and loyalty is just about that. It’s not about political or religious views. … I write hundreds of letters and notes every month. [It] doesn’t mean I agree with every single thing that every person thinks about politics, religion, or other subjects. I have multiple friendships that are important to me. That’s what that was about. … It’s not about politics, it’s about football. We’ve got a huge game this week against a great football team and a great organization.
Video: Tom Brady implies Trump didn’t have permission to use his name in support, says Gisele told him not to talk politics anymore pic.twitter.com/jREXGJZyeu— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) November 9, 2016
I talked to my wife, she said I can't talk about politics anymore. I think that's a good decision made for our family.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Dillon Gee:
Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer:
M.A.G.A!!!— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) November 9, 2016
Golfer Natalie Gulbis:
Golfer John Daly:
Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta:
U.S. men’s national team defender Geoff Cameron:
The people have spoken! Its time for America to come together. We live in the greatest country in the world today and it will be tomorrow!🇺🇸— Geoff Cameron (@GeoffCameron) November 9, 2016
Atlanta Hawks forward Kris Humphries:
I knew everyone was lying when they said they weren't voting for Trump. Trump is America's alter ego!— Kris Humphries (@KrisHumphries) November 9, 2016
Make America great again!— Kris Humphries (@KrisHumphries) November 9, 2016
Charlotte Hornets forward Spencer Hawes:
Not a fan of either candidate
You know, I think it would be hypocritical of me to vote. I said from the beginning I was against oppression, I was against the system of oppression. I’m not going to show support for that system. And to me, the oppressor isn’t going to allow you to vote your way out of your oppression.
It’s just not what I’m interested in. I don’t want to have any say, if it goes good or bad. I feel like maybe those of us who didn’t vote will have less blame if it works out terribly. We’ll have an out.
Charlotte Hornets center Frank Kaminsky:
Hillary supporters have been able to say whatever they want but the second you oppose them in anyway it's "how dare you?" #Twitter— Frank Kaminsky III (@FSKPart3) November 9, 2016
By the way to all of you going nuts over what I said... I voted for neither Trump nor Hillary. I just simply called out what I'm seeing.— Frank Kaminsky III (@FSKPart3) November 9, 2016
Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler:
Jill Stein— Wilson Chandler (@wilsonchandler) November 8, 2016
Calls for unity
You have an outsider winning or the first woman to be president. So I thought it was an important night to our country and really a message to the establishment, if you’re looking at it from an objective point of view. … I hope as a country we can now come together and work a little better with each other. Obviously, there were some people who were—rightfully so—worried about the direction of the country now, but I think it’s an important time for us that we come together and figure out how to work with each other.
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Huston Street:
.@realDonaldTrump is now our President Elect, my faith begs forgiveness, he has made many mistakes but as our leader we need to pray for him— Huston Street (@HustonStreet) November 9, 2016
Former MLB player Willie Bloomquist:
Election has almost equally divided America. Challenge moving forward is reunite us to continue making the USA the greatest country in earth— Willie Bloomquist (@williebloom) November 9, 2016
Sacramento Kings guard Garrett Temple:
Portland Trail Blazers guard Evan Turner:
No matter who the president is, we all still have the choice everyday to be positive, respectful, and to spread love to one another.— evan turner (@thekidet) November 9, 2016
Former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lance Moore:
He won and will be our president, so give him a chance. If we can't support him, how can we expect him to help us?? We must spread love!— Lance Moore (@LanceMoore16) November 9, 2016
Former MLB player Vernon Wells:
Pray for our country and our leadership.— Vernon Wells (@VernonWells10) November 9, 2016
Former NFL player Justin Tuck:
I'll do the same exact thing for Mr Trump as I've done for every other president and that is pray that he's the leader that America needs!!— Justin Tuck (@JustinTuck) November 9, 2016
Toronto Raptors center Jared Sullinger:
As minorities WE must do BETTER..... #PeriodPointBlank— Jared Sullinger (@Jared_Sully0) November 9, 2016
Donald Trump won fair and square. My statements has nothing to do with that. To just ignore the election and not vote is ignorant to me— Jared Sullinger (@Jared_Sully0) November 9, 2016
I think it's very unfortunate that people have done some of the things they have done during the protest. A lot of harm and damage has been done. I do understand their frustration, and I commend people wanting to come together for some kind of change. Tearing apart your own city just isn't the place to begin, and also making your own city less of a safe place isn't the answer.
Atlanta Hawks guard Malcolm Delaney:
I lived abroad 5 yrs and I don't give a damn who the president is I'd rather be living here in America. Y'all don't want to leave. Trust me— malcolm delaney (@foe23) November 9, 2016
Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard C.J. McCollum:
Lord please help us all 🙏🏽 we're going to need it— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) November 9, 2016
Seattle Sounders FC forward Herculez Gomez:
Build bridges not Walls...we need to come together -regardless of; race, religion, age, gender, sexual orien, etc. We are in this together.— herculez gomez (@herculezg) November 9, 2016
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert:
I just pray he figures it out. Please. Just do right by the country.— Iman Shumpert I (@imanshumpert) November 9, 2016
My general feeling is that we as Americans, we trust our system, we respect our democracy. Regardless of your beliefs, regardless of how you voted, we have an obligation to come together and get behind our new president and to have faith and trust that he will do what’s best for the entire country. … In moments like this it is easy to question things. But this is what makes our country great, that we have a system where every American can go and vote. The results may not be what every person wanted. Some are happy, others aren’t, but the way forward is to come together, give our president support, rally behind him. He will continue what I believe every president has done—make decisions for the good of the country.
He belongs to the same club in New York as I do, and a lot of people think he’s a good guy. He had to try to win an election, I wouldn’t want to win in that way, but he had to try to do it, I guess. But the most important thing now is whoever he insulted, call them up and apologize. And then start fresh with everybody. … And he’s not a politician, so he’s gonna make these mistakes. He should be part of the Louisville basketball team and lose his Twitter account.
He should join our team and lose that Twitter account. And then he just needs to call those people up. Start fresh, apologize to anybody he insulted from the Mexican community, say it wasn’t meant. People, when you apologize and you really mean it, they forgive you. But if you don’t apologize, they don’t forget.