ESPN Host Suggests Trump Was Racist for Serving Clemson Players Fast Food

'It's a predominately black sport and fast food, my thought went a very different place'

January 16, 2019

An ESPN host suggested Wednesday it was racist for President Donald Trump to serve fast food to the Clemson football team at the White House, saying such food being given to players of a "predominately black sport" gave her pause.

Paid for by Trump, the White House offered a spread of Wendy's, McDonald's, Burger King and Domino's pizza to the Clemson players on Monday when they visited to celebrate their national championship win. While the players appeared to enjoy the food, some political and sports observers took Trump to task for what they considered a low-class gesture.

On the daily ESPN debate show "First Take," panelists Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman discussed the matter, with Smith saying it was a "classless" and "disgraceful" move by Trump.

"It was wrong to do," Smith said. "It's unfortunate ... that he would choose to conduct himself this way. But are we surprised? Absolutely not."

Kellerman said with issues gripping the Trump administration like the partial government shutdown and the Russia investigation, it was hard to get worked up over some hamburgers at the White House. However, host Molly Qerim said she took the gesture differently, OutKickTheCoverage reported.

"A lot of the kids on the team had fun with it," Kellerman said, while B-roll played of Clemson's white and black players smiling and helping themselves to the buffet of burgers and fries. "There are reasons to be upset right now, and this ain't it."

"I don't know, I guess I took it very differently," Qerim said. "When I saw him giving the football players—it's a predominately black sport and fast food, my thought went a very different place."

She went on to say she would "absolutely not" order fast food at her house if people were visiting to be honored.

Added Smith: "One could also make the argument that it falls in line with an abundance of other things that have transpired with this particular individual."