During his December 6 speech about terrorism, delivered from the Oval Office, President Obama said this:
Muslim-americans are our friends and our neighbors. Our co-workers. Our sports heroes. And, yes, they are our men and women in uniform who are willing to die in defense of our country. We have to remember that.
That brought about the following tweet from Donald Trump:
Trump seems to think that current and former American sports figures, such as Ahmad Rashad (born Robert Moore) aren’t actually Muslims, but that the president believes they are because of their names. Apparently Trump has forgotten that in 2007, retired boxer Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay) presented him with an award at a charity event in Phoenix. Ali has been a Muslim since 1964. And if we want to talk Muslim-American sports heroes, there’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Lew Alcindor). Abdul-Jabbar converted to Islam in 1971. Or how about Shaquille O’Neal, who is a more recent convert?
We won’t even get into American Muslim athletes who haven’t adopted Muslim names. If Trump doesn’t know that Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (nee Chris Jackson) is a Muslim, is there any hope that he would know that Bernard Hopkins is also a convert to Islam?
Trump got more than a few responses like this one:
Of course he had some supporters.
Trump also got more than a few replies that we can’t share on a PG-13 site like If You Only News.
While it’s always hard to say with Trump, it’s likely that he knows full well that American sports are filled with Muslim athletes, from the NFL’s Aqib Talib to the NHL’s Nazem Kadri (Kadri is actually a Canadian, but he is seen regularly by thousands of American hockey fans), and many others in a variety of sports. What probably happened is that the mouth that roared needed to take a jab at President Obama and this weak tweet was the best he could do at the time. Even if some of his positions have shifted over time, one thing The Donald seems to continue to believe is that there is no such thing as bad publicity.