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‘People Are Hoping He Comes Back’

With recent polls showing growing support among Black people for Donald Trump, the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee, Black sports icons praised former President Donald Trump in recent interviews.

Kadia Goba of Semaphore talked Among them are several who have known and been friends with President Trump for decades, including boxing champion Mike Tyson, baseball star Darryl Strawberry, famed boxing promoter Don King and football star and former Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker.

“They made deals together, weathered crises together, and shared family gatherings together,” Goba wrote. “One even accompanied Don Jr. on a trip to Disney World.”

She added that while they are not “stand-ins for all black people,” they “represent a clear part of the black culture that Trump has long been associated with.”

Strawberry told Goba that “a lot of athletes want him to come back.”

“A lot of times people are afraid to speak out. They’re afraid of public opinion. I’ve been exposed to public opinion my whole life. Public opinion said I wouldn’t survive, I wouldn’t be able to succeed. And guess what? I’m still here,” he said, adding that he shares a commonality with Trump in that they’re both under public scrutiny.

Walker “adores” Trump, Goba wrote, adding:

Walker recounted how he became close with Trump in the 1980s, when he was also involved in Trump’s football activities. While the team was in training camp in Orlando, Walker offered to take a young Donald Jr. and his family to Disney World. He was impressed by how easily the white New York businessman befriended “this black kid who came from this small town with nothing.”

“I know she has a great heart,” he told her.

He denied allegations that Trump has problems with black voters and said he was tired of being asked to defend himself as a black person, as if “you have to give a special explanation to support Trump.” He said he had advised Trump to talk to black voters. “I said, they love you,” he said.

During his trial in New York City last month, Trump held a campaign rally in the predominantly black South Bronx neighborhood.

“In my generation, as far as I know, there has never been a time when a president has actually [sic] I know the president has been to the Bronx, but we’re talking about Woodlawn. [and] “Riverdale,” he said, “he came from Morrisania, the South Bronx, the poor neighborhoods. So I respect that.”

Tyson told Goba that he shares Strawberry’s sympathies with Trump.

Mike Tyson, Philip Faraone/Getty Images

“If I had never met Donald Trump and didn’t know he was white, I would think he was black. … How did the newspapers and the media treat him? Think about it. How did they treat him in court? That’s how they treated black people,” he said.

According to Goba, King once said Trump understands black people because “no matter what he says or does, he’s absolutely guilty.” Rapper 50 Cent, during a recent visit to the Capitol, said black men sympathize with Trump because “he’s been charged with violating the RICO Act.”

MILAN, ITALY – OCTOBER 22: 50 Cent performs at the Mediolanum Forum of Assago in Milan, Italy on October 22, 2023. (Photo by Sergione Infuso/Corbis via Getty Images)

“Think about what’s happened to so many people of color and the injustice that’s now happening to Donald,” Walker told Goba. “It’s almost the same situation right now.”

In the interview, Trump told Goba that he would expand the First Step Act, which Goba called “the most significant criminal justice reform package in years.” Trump also reportedly “bragged about granting pardons and amnesty to some non-violent drug offenders.”

“People are being treated very unfairly, and a lot of them are black people,” he said, according to Goba. “Hispanic people too. It’s not just black people.”

Older black athletes weren’t the only ones to praise Trump.


Adrien Broner

Adrien Broner, Getty Images/Sarah Steer

“He’s my n—a,” the 34-year-old told Goba about Trump, adding, “Trump’s the man. When Trump was president, everybody was eating.” He also said, “He’s a serious man. Just like me.”

Promoter Egypt Brown said boxing’s support for Trump was “rooted in masculinity”.

“As fighters, they don’t identify with Pride Month,” Brown says, “They don’t identify with women fighting men in their sport because it’s all about competition.”

Goba said he heard similar things from attendees at an event hosted by Rep. Byron Donald of Florida, a Black Republican, and Rep. Wesley Hunt of Ohio, an Army veteran.

“They’re intentionally marketing black women to look down on black men,” said attendee Michael Blackwell, 60. “So not only is society looking down on us, but black women are also looked down on because they make $100,000 and have a career. They’re conditioned that she doesn’t need a man.”

Tyson said Trump-skeptical fans say, “Hey, I don’t care about your guy.” [Trump]but he loves you.”

“They want to meet him. They ask me, ‘What’s he like?'” he said.

Tyson reportedly told them, “He’s a sociable guy. … The average person elected him. Not some big-name politician.”

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