ESPN Becomes the Latest Outlet to Dump Donald Trump

Donald Trump - H 2015
AP Images

Donald Trump - H 2015

The sports network announced Monday that it was moving its July 14 charity celebrity golf tournament from the Trump National Golf Course in Palos Verdes to the Pelican Hill Gold Club in Orange County.

Whatever Donald Trump’s histrionic denunciations of Mexican immigrants as drug runners and “rapists” may have done for his standings in the Republican presidential free-for-all, the reaction outside politics has delivered a series of body blows to his commercial interests.

So far, he’s been dropped by everybody from Macy’s to NBC to Univision and, on Monday, sports network ESPN announced it was moving its July 14 charity celebrity golf tournament from the Trump National Golf Course in Palos Verdes to the Pelican Hill Gold Club in Orange County. 

“We decided it was appropriate to change the venue, and are grateful for the opportunity to stage the event at Pelican Hill on short notice," the network said in a statement. "This charity outing benefits The V Foundation’s Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, providing resources for important cancer research for minority populations, including Hispanics and African Americans. Our decision reflects our deep feelings for our former colleague and support for inclusion of all sports fans. Diversity and inclusion are core values at ESPN and our decision also supports that commitment.”

ESPN’s decision arrives on the heels of a similar move by the foundation run by the L.A. Galaxy profession soccer team. “Due to remarks that do not reflect our club’s values of respect and diversity, the L.A. Galaxy has decided not to hold its annual golf tournament at Trump National Golf Club,” the club said in a brief two-sentence statement. “The L.A. Galaxy and L.A. Galaxy Foundation are currently working to find another golf course to host this year’s event.”

Meanwhile The National Hispanic Media Coalition has called on the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) to pull its events scheduled for Trump-owned courses. A number of upcoming PGA tournaments are set to be played on those, including October's PGA Grand Slam, which also is scheduled to take place at Trump National Golf Club in L.A. Trump National in Bedminster, N.J., is set to host the 2017 U.S. Women's Open and the 2022 PGA Championship.

When Trump claimed that his remarks about Mexican immigrants enjoy “tremendous support in the golf world because they know I’m right,” the PGA moved quickly to distance itself from the mogul turned presidential candidate.

“In response to Mr. Trump’s comments about the golf industry 'knowing he is right' in regards to his recent statements about Mexican immigrants, we feel compelled to clarify that those remarks do not reflect the views of our organizations," said the PGA in a statement. "While the LPGA, PGA of America, and PGA Tour and USGA do not usually comment on presidential politics, Mr. Trump’s comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf."

During an appearance on Fox News over the weekend, Trump both doubled down on his remarks — refusing to soften them and sending out a tweet that insulted GOP rival Jeb Bush’s Mexican-born wife — and admitted that the wider reaction among those with whom he formerly did business has surprised him.

"I didn't know it was going to be quite this severe," Trump said. “You know, maybe I'm leading in polls, but this is certainly not good," he added. "I lose customers, I lose people. … This isn't good for my brand.”