Donald Trump clearly doesn’t get a lot of support from sports fans after attending UFC 224 and getting booed relentlessly for the second time in a week.
The sound of heckling crowds is common at sporting events, with enthusiastic attendees regularly dissing their opponents and yelling chants of support for their favoured participant. You know the sort – I’m sure a peppy cheer or derogatory football song popped into your head as soon as I mentioned it.
There’s usually a 50/50 split between support and opposition and the same appeared to be true at UFC 224. It was nothing to do with the fighters taking part, I might add, but rather for the President of the United States.
Listen to the crowd here:
— Mitch Horowitz (@MitchHorowitz) November 3, 2019
The event took place in Madison Square Garden, in Trump’s hometown of New York City, on November 2 and the POTUS attended alongside sons Eric and Donald Jr., House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Republican Reps. Peter King and Mark Meadows.
As Trump took his seat, a low chorus of boos could be heard coming from certain areas of the venue. The sound is one the president has heard before as the same thing happened just last week, at Game 5 of the World Series.
The president had attended the game alongside first lady Melania Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump but when the group appeared on the Jumbotron big screen the fans’ cheers and claps changed to boos, with some members of the crowd chanting ‘lock him up’.
Trump’s reception at UFC 224 wasn’t quite as icy, however, as he did receive some applause and cheers from the fans.
The POTUS was reportedly seen waving to the crowd throughout the event and it looks like he even made it through to the end – a milestone he didn’t manage to reach at the World Series. During the baseball game, press pool reports noted the presidential motorcar left the ballpark at around 10.50pm, well before the game ended around 11.30pm.
Donald Jr. dismissed any claims about his father having a bad reception at UFC 224 as he described the atmosphere as ‘overwhelmingly positive’:
Despite the bullshit from blue checkmark Twitter, when we walked into the arena it was overwhelmingly positive. @danawhite said it was the most electrifying entrance he seen in 25 years of doing this. @ufc https://t.co/62dAdDimGD
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 3, 2019
The president himself later appeared to contradict this, however, as he shared a tweet about people cheering for him and responded with the words: ‘Fake News!’:
I’m sure he meant that reports of him being booed were fake news but, worryingly, it’s often hard to be confident about what the president means. The whole ‘covfefe’ debacle is proof enough of that.
While footage from the New York event proves the crowd were split in their opinions, I’m sure there were at least a couple of attendees who wished they could challenge Trump to a turn in the octagon.
Forget Tyson Fury – let’s get the president to make his UFC debut.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.