Hall of Famer-in-waiting Peyton Manning played golf with President Donald Trump on Sunday, and the backlash has been strong and swift.
The response was predictable. Any public figure’s association with Trump, Public Enemy No. 1, won’t go over well with the mainstream these days.
New York Times photographer Al Drago got a shot of Manning and Senator Bob Corker (a Republican from Tennessee, Manning’s home state) leaving the White House after Trump returned from the four-and-a-half hour golf outing.
Peyton Manning & Sen. Bob Corker of Tenn. depart the W.H. after President Trump returns from a 4.5 hour outing at Trump National Golf Club. pic.twitter.com/TeWn6KjsqO
— Al Drago (@Al_Drago) June 4, 2017
There’s also this video.
here’s Peyton Manning and President Trump leaving the White House wearing golf shirts pic.twitter.com/VcmW8rIWvQ
— Ari Mont (@arimont) June 4, 2017
According to CNN, Manning was in D.C. to receive the Lincoln medal at Ford’s Theatre on Sunday night. The honor goes to individuals who “exemplifies the lasting legacy and mettle of character embodied by the most beloved president in our nation’s history, President Abraham Lincoln.”
As noted by the Washington Post, no one should be too surprised by Manning’s chumminess with Trump. The former Broncos and Colts quarterback is an unabashed Republican, and while he supported Jeb Bush in the primaries, he’s now firmly in Trump’s camp. Days after Trump’s inauguration, Manning gave a speech to a retreat of GOP senators and governors .
Back in January 2016, Trump praised Manning during an interview with CBS and correctly predicted a Broncos win over the Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
“I very much have always liked Peyton Manning,” Trump said then. “He is a very good guy. I know him. And he is a very, very good guy. So, I have to go with the person I know and I like. … But I will stick with Peyton, because he is a very good guy.”
Much of the backlash regarding Manning’s decision to golf with Trump comes from left-leaning commentators on Twitter. Some of those detractors point out allegations that Manning sexually assaulted a trainer when he was at Tennessee.
“I wonder if Peyton told him how he put his genitals on a female trainers head.”
“Well Peyton Manning is a sexual assaulter as I recall, so that makes sense…”
“Take back his super bowl ring & erase his record w/Broncos. Indiana can have him. They can have mother’s boy back too”
“A lifetime of loving the Mannings, starting with Archie, POOF, gone just like that”
Of course, some in the media are piling on Peyton, too.
SB Nation writes, “endorsing Jeb Bush, golfing with Trump … he’s going to have to get better about choosing who to associate himself with. Tom Brady chose to skip his team’s visit to the White House this year, maybe the two-time Super Bowl winner can borrow a page from the five-time champion’s playbook.”
Well, we’re not sure if Brady chose to skip the Patriots’ White House visit or if his wife Giselle made that choice for him.
WEEI in Boston laments that Manning is being let of the hook for his association with the President, while Brady is taken to task for it: “If Tom Brady was photographed hitting the links with the Trump. It would likely be one of the biggest stories in the country, with scores of commentators –– this author included –– condemning the Patriots quarterback for his affiliation with the embattled Commander-In-Chief. Manning, however, largely receives a pass.”
One Twitter user, though, perfectly answers the author’s question about why Manning gets a pass for his friendship with Trump, while Brady gets crushed.
Maybe beacause if you ask Manning if he supports trump he won’t cowher like a little pussy and say “my wife said i can’t answer that”
— Pedge (@patrick181813) June 5, 2017
Manning’s Sunday golf foray, meanwhile, may be a harbinger of political things to come for the former QB. At least, that’s the opinion of one GM who texted Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman:
GM in text to me, after seeing Peyton Manning photo with Trump: “Peyton Manning will be president one day.”
Just passing along.
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) June 5, 2017