Opinion

Monday 20 November 2017

Eamonn Sweeney: Sportsmen man-up to counter Trump

Presidential candidate's attempt to defend his idiotic comments by dragging athletes into it backfires spectacularly

Donald Trump attempted to defend himself after his lewd comments, calling it ‘locker-room talk’, but American athletes have hit back at his suggestion. Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters
Donald Trump attempted to defend himself after his lewd comments, calling it ‘locker-room talk’, but American athletes have hit back at his suggestion. Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters

Eamonn Sweeney

Last week Donald Trump tried to hide behind sport. In describing his revolting comments about women as "locker-room talk", Trump was essentially saying that the one group who would understand where he was coming from were sportsmen.

The rest of the population might kick up when a man boasted about how he could get away with groping women, but male sports stars and fans would recognise that this was just the manly talk of manly men engaged in manly pursuits. Right?

Wrong. Because that invocation of the 'locker room' has prompted a furious reaction from some American sportsmen who don't fancy being used to get Trump off the hook. "As an athlete I've been in locker rooms my entire adult life - and that's not locker-room talk," said Sean Doolittle (inset below) of baseball's Oakland As.

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