ESPN host Max Kellerman has revealed he was furious at Tiger Woods comments urging respect for the office of the president.
Woods, a friend and sometime golf partner of Trump, was asked about his relationship with the president after the final round of The Northern Trust on Sunday.
‘No matter who’s in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office,’ he said. ‘He’s the president of the United States. You have to respect the office.’
On Monday, Kellerman hit out at Woods, calling his comments a ‘thoughtless statement dressed up as a thoughtful statement.’
An avid golfer, President Donald Trump owns many golf courses and resorts, both in the United States and abroad. PGA legend Tiger Woods has won several tournaments at the Trump National Doral resort in Miami
The President praised Woods for sidestepping questions about Trump’s immigration policy
‘And it either holds in contempt the intelligence of people who hear it or else it’s just a stupid thing to say,’ he said. ‘To say you must have respect for the office… 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,’ he said.
Kellerman said that as professionals or politicians, people are held to a high standard of behavior.
‘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.
‘Tiger Woods is being slick. We must respect the office therefore that confers respect to the occupant. Tiger, is that what you are saying? If that is what you are saying, that is a stupid comment.’
The resurgent Woods – who has not won a tournament since 2013, but finished second at the PGA Championship last week – had been asked a question that referenced Trump’s controversial immigration policies.
Asked how he’d respond to people who are intrigued by his ‘friendly relationship’ with Trump, Woods told reporters they should respect the office of the president.
Trump responded Monday by praising Woods and criticizing journalists.
Ivanka Trump, Tiger woods, Donald Trump and Eric Trump after the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at the Trump Doral Golf Resort & Spa in 2013
President George W. Bush visits with US Team player Tiger Woods during the Afternoon Four-Ball Matches for the 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 29, 2012 in Illinois
Captain’s assistant Tiger Woods of the U.S. Team speaks to former U.S. President Barack Obama on the first tee during Thursday foursome matches of the Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club on September 28, 2017 in Jersey City, New Jersey
‘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 said on Twitter.
The president also expressed gratitude to former NFL player Jim Brown, who defended Trump after the Hall of Famer was asked if he is concerned with the message coming from the White House against the league.
‘I should be criticizing Trump on every level because he does certain things that call for criticism,’ Brown said last week during an appearance on ‘The JT The Brick Show’ on Fox Sports Radio.
‘But when I look at television and I see all of these announcers become experts and they’re pointing their fingers, and they’re not doing a doggone thing but pointing their fingers, I find myself really pulling for the president.’
Brown acknowledged that his comment ‘will make me very unpopular in the black community, very unpopular with a lot of Americans. But I think there are certain good things that are coming out of this presidency because we’ve never seen anything like it.’
Trump tweeted Monday: ‘Thank you to the great @JimBrownNFL32, perhaps the greatest running back of all time, for your wonderful words and support.
‘Since our meeting in New York, African-American UNEMPLOYMENT has reached the LOWEST LEVEL IN HISTORY. You get it!’
The connection between Brown and African-American unemployment was unclear.
And, while black unemployment did hit a record low of 5.9 percent in May, the rate has since risen to 6.6 percent in July.
Trump and Brown met in New York after the 2016 presidential election.
The president also expressed gratitude to former NFL player Jim Brown (pictured), who defended Trump
Trump tweeted Monday: ‘Thank you to the great @JimBrownNFL32, perhaps the greatest running back of all time, for your wonderful words and support’
Trump’s public praise comes amid his continued disapproval of NFL players, most of them African-American, who kneel during the national anthem to protest police treatment of black men.
It also follows his recent criticism of NBA star LeBron James.
But just as he did with previous presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Woods has played golf with Trump on several occasions, and the two have stayed in touch since the latter’s inauguration.
‘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.’
Woods was also asked about racial relations in America, but he declined to give a response.
‘No,’ Woods said, ‘I just finished 72 holes and [I’m] really hungry.’
Woods was coming off an impressive runner-up finish at the PGA Championship, but struggled on Sunday before finishing with a 70 for the round, which left him 14 shots off the lead.
Bryson DeChambeau shot a 2-under 69 on Sunday to win his second tournament of the year. He finished 18-under overall.
Woods is not the only professional athlete to sidestep questions about his relationship with Trump.
Woods was coming off an impressive runner-up finish at the PGA Championship, but struggled on Sunday before finishing with a 70 for the round, which left him 14 shots off the lead
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has also played golf with Trump, and even went so far as to endorse his bid for presidency during the 2016 campaign. However, when asked in January of 2017 if he called to congratulate Trump on his victory, Brady balked: ‘Let’s talk about football.’
Trump has had a more contentious relationship with other athletes – namely NFL players who he has condemned for protesting inequality and police brutality by refusing to stand during the national anthem.
Former NBA MVP winners LeBron James and Stephen Curry have both exchanged criticisms with Trump through traditional and social media as well.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr have also publicly criticized Trump for everything from his response to gun violence to claims that the President has used race to divide the country.
However, unlike James and Curry – both of whom Trump has called out by name, specifically disinviting them from a potential White House visit – the President has not mentioned Popovich or Kerr publicly.
Trump has received many endorsements from current and former athletes, including boxer-turned-promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr., former Buffalo Bills offensive guard Rickie Incognito, former NFL coach Mike Ditka, and current Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
An avid golfer, Trump owns and operates many golf courses and resorts, both in the United States and abroad.
In fact, Woods has won several tournaments at the Trump National Doral resort near Miami.