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Tiger Woods offered a diplomatic response when asked about President Donald Trump and his sometimes combative approach toward professional athletes from the NFL and NBA.
“Well, he’s the president of the United States,” Woods said Sunday, per Agence France-Presse (via Yahoo Sports). “No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”
NFL players have often been the target of Trump’s ire with the growth of the protest movement in the league. Even after the NFL announced a rule mandating players on the sideline to stand during the national anthem, Trump criticized the league for giving players the option to remain in the locker room as a form of protest.
The president also rescinded an invitation to the NBA champion Golden State Warriors after Stephen Curry and Steve Kerr indicated they weren’t looking forward to the traditional celebratory trip to the White House.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James called Trump a “bum” in response to the move. James also said during an interview in July with CNN’s Don Lemon that he believed Trump was “kinda [using] sports to kinda divide us,” which drew a stern rebuke from Trump:
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!
Woods noted he and Trump have been acquaintances “for a number of years” and spent rounds together on the golf course.
Woods was an assistant captain for the United States 2017 Presidents Cup team when Trump handed the trophy to U.S. captain Steve Stricker. Trump also presented the trophy from the 2013 WGC-Cadillac Championship to Woods when he won the tournament. The Trump National Doral Miami in Doral, Florida, served as the host for the event.