In a last-minute decision, ESPN joined the growing number of companies that have severed ties with GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump over his derogatory comments towards Mexican immigrants. The broadcast network has
moved next week’s ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic from Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles to the nearby Pelican Hill Golf Club.
In a statement, ESPN said its decision to move the July 14 event was motivated by the company’s devotion to “diversity and inclusion.” Other companies that have distanced themselves from the real estate mogul in the past two weeks include Macy’s, Univision, NBC Universal, NASCAR and Televisa.
Trump himself admitted that he didn’t expect such a “severe” backlash from his business associates for his June comments calling Mexicans who enter the U.S. illegally “rapists” and “criminals.”
“This is certainly not good,” Trump said on Fox & Friends this weekend. “For the people who say I’m doing it for my brand—this isn’t good for my brand.”
ESPN’s full statement is below:
“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. 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.”