Politics

ESPN Host Fumes at Tiger Woods for Saying He Respects Office of the President

Max Kellerman: It's a 'thoughtless statement dressed up as a thoughtful statement'

ESPN's "First Take" commentator Max Kellerman on Monday slammed professional golfer Tiger Woods for saying he respected the office of the president after a reporter asked him to respond to those who may question his "interesting" relationship with President Donald Trump.

Following the final round of the Northern Trust golf tournament on Sunday, a sports reporter referenced Trump's debates with NFL players and his immigration policies before asking Woods what he would "say to people who might find it interesting" that he has a friendly relationship with Trump.

"He’s the President of the United States. You have to respect the office. No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office," Woods said.

Kellermann fumed over Woods' response, saying it was a "thoughtless statement dressed up as a thoughtful statement," Fox News reported.

"And it either holds in contempt the intelligence of people who hear it or else it’s just a stupid thing to say. … To say you must have respect for the office—Tiger, be clear. Are you saying that the office, therefore, confers respect on to its present temporary occupant? No. Having respect for the office means principally, in my view, is the office holder should have respect for the office," Keller said.

"We are held to a standard of behavior, we at our jobs, right, people in their daily lives. The president, if anything, is held to a higher standard of behavior. It is not such that we have such great respect for the office that no matter what the behavior of its occupant, we must respect the occupant because of the office. No. Tiger Woods … is being slick," Kellerman continued. "We must respect the office therefore that confers respect to the occupant. Tiger, is that is what you are saying? If that is what you are saying, that is a stupid comment."

Woods and Trump have known each other for several years; they have been golfing partners and have stayed in touch since Trump took office last year.

"Well, I’ve known Donald for a number of years," Woods said. "We’ve played golf together. We’ve had dinner together. I’ve known him pre-presidency and obviously during his presidency."

Trump slammed the "Fake News Media" on Monday for trying to "get Tiger Woods to say something he didn't want to say," but he said Woods was "very smart" and didn't "play" their "game."

"The Fake News Media worked hard to get Tiger Woods to say something that he didn’t want to say. Tiger wouldn’t play the game – he is very smart. More importantly, he is playing great golf again!" Trump tweeted.

This isn't the first time Kellerman has been critical of Trump. He slammed the president last September for saying NFL owners should "get that son of a bitch off the field," referencing NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.

"What @KingJames & @StephenCurry30 said can be repeated on TV, what @realDonaldTrump said cannot. Who should be unwelcome in the White House?" Kellerman tweeted.