NEW YORK — ESPN became the latest company on Monday to distance itself from Donald Trump, the billionaire Republican presidential candidate who kicked off his White House bid last month with inflammatory remarks about Mexican immigrants.
The sports media empire opted to re-locate its upcoming ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic from Trump National Golf Club.
The tournament, which is scheduled for July 14, will now be held at Pelican Hill Golf Club in the Los Angeles area. In a statement, ESPN noted that the event will benefit the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, a program that honors the late “SportsCenter” anchor by “providing resources for important cancer research for minority populations, including Hispanic and African Americans.”
“Our decision reflects our deep feelings for our former colleague and support for inclusion of all sports fans,” the statement said. “Diversity and inclusion are core values at ESPN and our decision also supports that commitment.”
A Trump spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
ESPN’s move follows similar decisions by other companies associated with Trump.
Univision, the largest Spanish-language broadcaster in the United States, decided not to air this month’s Miss USA pageant, which is partially owned by Trump. NBCUniversal will also not be broadcasting the pageant, as the network ended its longstanding business relationship with the reality television star and real estate mogul. And Macy’s will pull Trump merchandise from its stores.
Trump has filed a lawsuit against Univision, and has suggested that he may do the same with NBC.
All of those companies faced enormous pressure to sever ties with Trump after he said during his presidential campaign announcement that Mexico is “sending” unsavory individuals across the border.
“They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us,” Trump said. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Trump admitted over the weekend that the extent of the fallout has caught him by surprise. But he hasn’t asked for a mulligan either. In an interview with Business Insider on Monday, Trump asserted that Mexico is “pushing the bad ones in here.”