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Donald Trump reportedly declines Nationals offer to throw first pitch on Opening Day 03.28.17 at 12:17 pm ET
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Donald Trump, a native New Yorker, is known as a big time Yankees fan. (Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool Photo via USA Today Sports)

Donald Trump will be the first president since 1910 to not throw out a first pitch on Opening Day. (Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool Photo via USA Today Sports)

The last 18 presidents have thrown out a ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day. Donald Trump is apparently bucking that tradition.

According to the Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga, Trump declined the Nationals’ offer to throw out the first pitch at Nats Park next Monday. Earlier Tuesday, POLITICO reported Trump was in talks with the Nationals to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Given the divisiveness of Trump’s presidency, the Nationals would’ve probably faced backlash if they had welcomed Trump to the ballpark. But that apparently didn’t deter the organization from extending an invitation.

The White House didn’t provide a reason why Trump turned down the Nationals. One possible explanation is that he didn’t want to subject himself to facing a hostile crowd in D.C. Trump lost the District of Columbia to Hillary Clinton by more than 86 points.

This post has been updated. 

Read More: Donald Trump,
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Donald Trump rips Colin Kaepernick, takes credit for his unemployment; Gale Sayers battling dementia 03.21.17 at 9:55 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Tuesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Tampa Bay vs. Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Philadelphia vs. Minnesota, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: LA Angels vs. Cincinnati, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Boston vs. NY Yankees, 6:35 p.m. (NESN, WEEI-AM 850)
World Baseball Classic: US vs. Japan, 9 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Ottawa at Boston, 7 p.m. (NESN, WBZ-FM 98.5)
NHL: San Jose at Minnesota, 8:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Chicago at Toronto, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: San Antonio at Minnesota, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Richmond at TCU, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Georgia Tech at Mississippi, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB: 

— During a rally in Louisville Monday night, Donald Trump switched gears from talking about urban communities to discussing controversial NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick.

“Our inner cities will find a rebirth of hope, safety and opportunity,” Trump said. “Your San Francisco quarterback, I’m sure nobody ever heard of him.”

A relevant and smooth segue if I’ve ever heard one.

Trump then explained he was referencing an article he read about Kaepernick’s free agency. He said he believes NFL teams are afraid to sign Kaepernick because they don’t want Trump to send mean tweets to them.

“It was reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump,” he said. “Do you believe that? I just saw that. I just saw that.”

Trump also took a shot at Kaepernick’s reluctance to stand for the national anthem before games.

“I said if I remember that one I’m going to report it to the people of Kentucky,” Trump said. “They like it when people actually stand for the American flag.”

The Bleacher Report article Trump was likely referencing mentions Kaepernick is in “NFL limbo” because he takes public political stances. It quotes an AFC general manager who said “… some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him. They think there might be protests or [President Donald] Trump will tweet about the team.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Colin Kaepernick, Donald Trump, Gale Sayers,
Tom Brady’s 2020 presidential election odds are better than Donald Trump’s three years ago 03.10.17 at 1:58 pm ET
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Tom Brady has a better chance to be president than Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady has a better chance to be president than Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Three years ago, Donald Trump’s odds to be elected president were 150/1. Tom Brady’s chances to be sworn into the Oval Office in 2020 are better than that.

According to Bovada, Brady’s chances to be the next President of the United States sit at 125/1. That puts him in line with U.S. senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Chris Murphy (D-CT). Leonardo DiCaprio, Chelsea Clinton, George Clooney, Kanye West and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson have 125/1 odds as well. Johnson is the only person in that group who’s hinted at making a presidential run, telling reporters last year he “wouldn’t rule it out.”

In an interview with GQ in 2015, Brady said he doesn’t have any desire to seek higher office.

“There is a 0.000 chance of me ever wanting to do that,” he said. “I just think that no matter what you’d say or what you’d do, you’d be in a position where –– you know, you’re politicking. You know? Like, I think the great part about what I do is that there’s a scoreboard. At the end of every week, you know how you did. You know how well you prepared. You know whether you executed your game plan. There’s a tangible score.”

While Brady expressed support for Trump during the campaign, he never explicitly revealed his political views. Earlier this year, Brady implied on Kirk & Callahan he might disagree with some of Trump’s policies.

“If you know someone, it doesn’t mean you agree with everything they say or they do,” he said. “You have a lot of friends in your life. I think there are things that are based in your own dealings with someone that is a personal dealing, not a public dealing. Because you have personal experiences.”

Thanks to Trump’s improbable rise, the next presidential race will likely feature some unorthodox candidates. Oprah Winfrey, who Bovada says has 66/1 odds of winning in 2020, signaled last week she might be warming up to the idea of giving it a shot.

Currently, Trump has 9/4 odds at being reelected. The person most likely to unseat him is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who’s chances of winning are 8/1.

Read More: Donald Trump, Tom Brady,
Poll shows majority of sportswriters are opposed to Donald Trump 03.09.17 at 10:17 am ET
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Most sportswriters are opposed to Donald Trump. (Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool Photo/USA Today Sports)

Most sportswriters are opposed to Donald Trump. (Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool Photo/USA Today Sports)

In a feature story last month, the Ringer’s Bryan Curtis said sportswriting is now a liberal profession. Now there are numbers that back up his claim.

The Big Lead recently conducted a sports media political survey, polling 51 industry professionals. A whopping 80.4 percent of respondents say they voted for Hillary Clinton in last year’s presidential election, with only two people expressing support for Donald Trump. Those numbers show how far to the left members of the sports media stand in comparison to the general population, especially considering the vast majority of people polled were male (76.5 percent) and white (82.4 percent). According to exit poll data, 63 percent of white men cast their ballots for Trump in November.

Given those findings, it’s unsurprising most sportswriters identify as Democrats (58 percent). More than one-third said they’re political independents and only three people called themselves Republicans (six percent).

Ever since Trump took office, an increasing number of sports media members have used their Twitter feeds to condemn his policies, lashing out against the travel ban and other controversial initiatives. It doesn’t seem like this trend will stop any time soon.

Read More: Donald Trump,
TMZ founder reportedly asked Donald Trump to help him book Tom Brady for an interview 03.08.17 at 4:38 pm ET
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Tom Brady hasn't said whether he's visiting the White House with the Patriots this year. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady hasn’t said whether he’s visiting the White House with the Patriots this year. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

President Donald Trump often boasts about his friendship with Tom Brady. TMZ founder Harvey Levin is reportedly looking to parlay that into an interview with the Patriots’ quarterback.

According to the New York Times, Trump granted an unannounced White House meeting to Levin last week. Sources say the topic of their conversation largely focused on securing Trump’s participation for Levin’s new Fox News series, “Objectified.” The President sat down with Levin for a softball Fox News interview last fall.

But apparently, the tabloid tycoon’s guest wish list extends beyond Trump. The Times reports Levin wants Brady to appear on the show, and planned to ask Trump if he could help the two connect with each other.

Though the extent of Trump and Brady’s friendship remains uncertain, they do seem to keep in touch. At a celebratory dinner before the inauguration, Trump said Brady called him to send his well wishes. In an interview with Kirk & Callahan last November, Brady declined to say whether he had voted for his pal.

Read More: Donald Trump, Tom Brady,
#GaysForTrump president explains why the LGBT community should vote Republican 03.07.17 at 1:58 pm ET
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Peter Boykin, president of #GaysForTrump, says Donald Trump's administration is pro-LGBT. (Photo provided)

Peter Boykin, president of #GaysForTrump, says Donald Trump’s administration is pro-LGBT. (Photo provided)

The concept of being a gay Republican seems contradictory. While I understand people are more than one-issue voters, it’s impossible for me to embrace a political party that doesn’t recognize my right to marry and thinks parents should be able to send their kids to conversion therapy, which is nothing more than medical quackery. Perhaps that makes me small-minded, but I prefer to support people who aren’t hostile towards my way of life.

It’s no secret the overwhelming majority of the gay community also stands on the left side of the aisle. According to a 2016 Pew poll, 82 percent of LGB voters identify as Democrats, whereas only 18 percent say they lean right. In last year’s election, 78 percent of voters who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender pulled the lever for Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump, despite his relatively liberal stance on gay rights, drew just 14 percent of the LGBT vote. (In 2012, Mitt Romney pulled in 22 percent of the gay vote.)

One of Trump’s most prominent LGB supporters is Peter Boykin, president of #GaysforTrump. The group, which Boykin says has up to 10,000 names in its database, played a central role in organizing the pro-Trump rallies across the country last weekend.

For the most part, Boykin sounds like a typical Trump supporter. He boasts about Trump’s plans to build a wall on the Mexican border and invest heavily in infrastructure.

“[Trump] sees what I see: lots of crappy roads and poor people everywhere, really huge debts,” Boykin says. “And what do we have? A failing economy, no jobs, bad military. America has gone in very bad disrepair, yet we owe ‘craptons’ of money.”

When the topic turns to gay issues, Boykin is quick to point out Trump’s support for same-sex marriage and pledge to protect LGBT people from radical Islamic terror. He also makes sure to tell me President Barack Obama, who’s beloved in the gay community, didn’t support marriage equality when he first took office.

Though those statements are factually accurate, it’s difficult for me to consider Trump a genuine ally. He filled up his administration with a swath of social conservatives, including Vice President Mike Pence. As a congressman, Pence voted against the Employment Non-Discirmination Act and said gay couples signaled “societal collapse.” He continued his anti-LGBT streak as governor of Indiana, when he signed a religious freedom bill that would’ve allowed business to refuse to serve gay people. (He eventually changed the law’s language after immense outcry from social advocacy groups and the business community.)

Boykin recognizes Pence’s history, but says the Vice President is a changed man. He also says factions of Democrats are just as opposed to gay rights as conservatives, despite the party’s LGBT-friendly platform.

In my conversation with Boykin, we further explored the rationalization behind his Trump support. Answers are edited for brevity.

Alex Reimer: Do you think Donald Trump is an ally to the LGBT movement more so than Hillary Clinton and other Democrats?

Peter Boykin: I believe Donald Trump is the first Republican to take office that is pro-LGBT rights –– and particularly our safety. He is still going to be a little bit of the legalese and make sure things are legal. But you’re comparing him to somebody like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton who in their past, especially Barack Obama when he took office, he was not for gay rights. He grew into that.

AR: But you would agree that gay rights improved dramatically under Obama’s presidency, right?

PB: Only because it was coming. Not because of him. We had very good Supreme Court decisions coming through. You had many, many court cases that went through. These things have been going on for a long time. It was because of groups like Log Cabin Republicans and stuff that worked towards those. Not because Barack Obama signed a bill. People think that the president just signs a bill and then all of a sudden he’s the one doing it all –– just like they tried to say that Trump has taken away [transgender] kids rights or whatever, just because they sent back a guideline that already a year ago was struck down, because it was already in the courts struck down while Barack Obama was in office. … All of the guidelines were already null and void. So Donald Trump said that, ‘Well, instead of just continuing on with something that was already broken anyway,’ he said, ‘We’re going to send it back to the courts and let them and states decide and continue and work towards what’s needed and to make it legal.’ The only way to do that is through the court system and state’s rights. You can’t just make things legal. It wasn’t a law.

AR: When I look at Trump, I agree with you. I think personally, Trump is pro-LGBT. He grew up in socially liberal New York, he’s stated support for gay rights personally. But it’s hard for me to consider him an ally when he supported the GOP party platform, which as you know had opposition for [same-sex marriage] …

PB: He went against that platform. When he went on that floor and said he supported LGBT rights and brought Peter Thiel out there, he went against the GOP Platform.

AR: So then what do you make of a guy like Mike Pence, who has opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, says being gay is a choice …

PB: We’ve also got Mike Pence who went on an ABC interview and said that kind of LGBT discrimination will not be happening in the Trump administration. Pence is the same guy who looked at my ‘Gays for Trump’ hashtag ‘Make America Great Again hat,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah we’re for you.’ And he was like, ‘OK,’ and he signed my hat. Regardless of what he did in the past –– people always tell me when I bring up Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s pasts, and they always say, ‘Well that’s in the past.’ I’m going to tell you the same thing. That’s in his past. He is the vice president under Trump and there’s a reason he’s doing this job. And he can change just like anybody else. I can give Hillary the benefit of the doubt, I can give Barack Obama the benefit of the doubt, we can definitely give Mike Pence the benefit of the doubt.

AR: So you think Mike Pence, who admittedly has an exceptionally conservative record when it comes to gay rights issues, you think he’s totally changed?

PB: “He has a religious-based record. Liberal LGBT people usually try to put religion with anti-LGBT, and it does not always happen that way. Me and [fashion designer] Andre [Soriano] just went to Catholic mass yesterday and nobody cares. We were two gay guys in a church. They don’t care. Most people don’t care about regular LGBT anymore. Now they’re kind of getting scared about the transgender [issue].

AR: I feel like a lot of what people used to say about gay people –– we’re looking to molest your children, we’re real perverts and deviants. I feel like the stuff they used to say about us, they’re now saying about transgender people. And that’s wrong.

PB: Yeah, like ‘that man in that dress is going to want to mess with my daughter.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, they don’t care about your daughter. They don’t care about your son.’ Frankly, they just want to go use the bathroom.

AR: Exactly. So on that point, you would agree there still are a lot of prominent voices in the Republican Party that do say that kind of stuff about gay people, transgender people. So how do you align yourself with them after knowing their opposition to your personal lifestyle?

PB: Well, to tell you the truth,I can be in the Republican Party just as easily as I could be in the Democratic Party. There’s a ‘crapload’ of voices in the Democratic Party who hate gays as well.

AR: Who?

PB: We’re talking about southern Democrats, southern Christians. We’re talking about a lot of black people that are black Democrats. They cannot stand homosexuality, and they are Democrats. There’s just as many Democrats as there are Republicans that cannot stand gays.

AR: But then why is the Democratic Party platform supportive of LGBT rights and the GOP platform is not?

PB: Because they can get their vote. Then a lot of religious people just kind of stay back and they don’t say anything. They just want the vote. As long as they get their people in, they just use as a vote. That’s all they care [about]. They’re using black people for their votes, too. But people are waking up. Donald Trump was right: They’re using ya’ll as a vote.

AR: What do you think about Neil Gorsuch and other conservative justices who Trump will likely appoint to the federal courts. What do you think they’ll do when they’re faced with cases about LGBT rights? Does that worry you?

PB: No, because people always talked negatively of Justice Scalia, because he didn’t want to try the gay marriage act. But you know what? He was doing his job as a constitutionalist. … So when Donald Trump says he wants to have a justice who will dictate by the Constitution, it’s not anti-LGBT. It’s basically a justice who will do his job and be supportive of what’s in the Constitution. Period.

We can’t just send everything to the Supreme Court. We have to let state’s rights dictate things. That’s one of the reasons why the Civil War was fought –– state’s rights. Not letting the federal government dictate to every state what we’re going to do.

AR: But throughout history, a lot of civil rights progress can’t be left to the states. Look at African-American [segregation] in the 50’s and 60’s. If it weren’t for a lot of federal initiatives, who knows how long it would’ve taken in some southern states.

PB: Well, we got to the point where we got enough states on board, like we did with the gay marriage issue. … It’s just that, any time you change a law like this, it takes time. It takes time to move things. We’re talking about something that’s economic when you talk about the [transgender] bathroom issue. Some people want a separate toilet, some people say they don’t want a separate toilet because it makes them feel bad. … We have that problem. That issue will have to continue. Maybe it will take a number of generations to ease into it, just like generations eased into the gay issue. Now we have a generation where people don’t give a crap if somebody is gay or not. Maybe the next generation will be fine with transgender people. That’s the reason people are born and die. People’s ideas change. 

Read More: Donald Trump,
Commend Caitlyn Jenner for her powerful condemnation of Donald Trump’s transgender order 02.24.17 at 12:17 pm ET
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It’s sometimes difficult to take Caitlyn Jenner seriously, considering she’s spent many years of her life exploiting her name on the Kardashian family’s reality show. But in a world bereft of prominent transgender voices, she plays an important role. That was on display this week, when she pushed back against the Trump administration’s decision to overturn federal protections for transgender students that let them use restrooms corresponding with their gender identity.

In a video posted to Twitter Thursday, the two-time Olympic gold medalist rails against the revocation of the Obama-era order. Jenner, who supported President Donald Trump during the election, calls the policy a “disaster.”

“I have a message for President Trump, from one Republican to another,” Jenner said. “This is a disaster. And you can still fix it. You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ community. Call me.”

Throughout the campaign, Trump disingenuously presented himself as a pro-LGBTQ candidate. In his speech at the Republican National Convention, he pledged to protect the community from Islamic terrorism, while ignoring his own vice president’s hostile record on gay rights. He also named Jeff Sessions attorney general, who was one of the most anti-LGBTQ members of the senate and reportedly pushed for the reversal of President Barack Obama’s transgender guidelines.

Despite those actions, Trump gave the transgender community lip service in an interview last April on NBC’s “Today.” He said if Jenner were to visit Trump Tower, she could use any bathroom she chooses. Apparently, he doesn’t feel transgender kids should have that same right when they go to school.

After those comments, Jenner said she thought Trump would be more pro-LGBTQ than his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. But her previous endorsement didn’t preclude her from condemning the Trump administration’s policy.

“You’re sick. And because you’re weak, you pick on kids, you pick on women or anyone else you think is vulnerable,” she said in her video. “Apparently even becoming the attorney general isn’t enough to cure some people of their insecurities.”

Transgender kids are some of the most vulnerable people in the U.S. More than 80 percent of transgender students say they feel threatened at school, and 41 percent of transgender people say they’ve tried to commit suicide at least once in their lives. The suicide attempt rate of the overall U.S. population is 4.6 percent.

Jenner may not be the most intellectual spokesperson for the LGBTQ cause, but that’s OK. After hiding her identity for over 60 years –– she says she used to wear women’s clothing as a teenager –– Jenner seems proud of who she is. It’s important for people to see that.

There’s no singular moment in the gay rights movement that’s led to mainstream acceptance. With each person who comes out, the stigma around homosexuality continues to decrease.

Jenner is perhaps the most famous transgender person in the world. Her advocacy is meaningful, even if it comes in the form of a goofy-looking video recorded in her kitchen.

“I have a message for the trans kids of America: You’re winning,” she said. “I know it doesn’t feel like it today or every day, but you’re winning. Very soon, we will win full freedom nationwide and it’s going to be with bipartisan support.”

Read More: Caitlyn Jenner, Donald Trump,
Bill Belichick is a member of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club 02.18.17 at 10:54 am ET
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The New York Times says Bill Belichick is a paying member of Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Times says Bill Belichick is a paying member of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Last weekend, Patriots owner Robert Kraft was photographed dining with President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. Don’t be surprised if his coach, Bill Belichick, is spotted at the property at some point this offseason.

For the third time in as many weeks, Trump is spending the weekend at his members-only club, which he’s turned into a winter White House. Last week, controversy arose when Trump was briefed about North Korea’s ballistic missile test on the resort’s patio, creating the possibility that onlooking patrons were privy to classified information.

In a story Saturday, the New York Times runs down some of the club’s dynamics, including concerns about members using their status to wield influence with the president. Shortly after Trump was elected to the Oval Office, the entry fee doubled to $200,000. Most of the nearly 500 paying members are real estate developers, Wall Street executives and other titans of industry who will be likely be affected by the administration’s policies.

The article primarily focuses on the largely anonymous corporate executives who bandy about the property, but it also mentions a couple of members who are well-known to Bostonians: columnist Howie Carr, and Belichick.

It’s not surprising that Belichick is a member. Last year, he and his girlfriend, Linda Holliday, took an after-dinner picture with Trump at Mar-a-Lago.

Perhaps another meal is on the schedule. Trump still has to congratulate Belichick on the Super Bowl win, and thank him for the endorsement letter he wrote before the election.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Donald Trump,
Chris Long tears into rubes who are criticizing him for skipping White House visit 02.17.17 at 11:08 am ET
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Chris Long is a free agent this offseason. (John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Long is a free agent this offseason. (John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports)

Last week, Chris Long shredded a New York Daily News columnist for writing him a dopey open letter about skipping the Patriots’ upcoming White House visit. On Thursday, he set his sights on folks who are bashing him for his plan to boycott the proceedings.

Long is one of six Patriots players who say they won’t be heading to the White House for a photo-op with President Donald Trump later this year. Though not all of the players said their decisions are political –– Dont’a Hightower also skipped in 2015 when Barack Obama was in office –– it’s fair to assume Long isn’t Trump’s biggest fan.

“I’m just not doing it,” he said recently on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon my Take” podcast when asked why he doesn’t want to go. “I’ve got plenty of serious political reasons that probably don’t belong on this show, but I’m just not doing it. America’s an awesome country, man. Everybody knows that. That’s why I have this choice.”

Since sportswriting is now a primarily liberal profession, Long didn’t hear a lot of disapproval about his decision in the media. But on Twitter, he decided to lash out at those who have been critical of him. Ironically, this shows Long is just as sensitive as our whiner-in-chief, whom he presumably loathes. (That doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining, however. It’s always nice to see rubes get put in their place.)

The primary focus of Long’s charity is to provide clean drinking water to communities in East Africa, for what it’s worth.

Despite that tweet storm, Long’s best moment on social media remains when he issued a biting rebuttal to Roger Goodell’s ludicrous analogy about couch sitting being just as dangerous as playing football.

“I am #blessed to survive a night on the couch. But I knew the risks,” he wrote after Super Bowl 50.

Read More: Chris Long, Donald Trump, New England Patriots,
Donald Trump refuses to fill out NCAA tournament bracket for ESPN 02.15.17 at 4:09 pm ET
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Donald Trump won't be filling out a bracket this year. (J. Scott Applewhite/Pool Photo/USA Today Network)

Donald Trump won’t be filling out a bracket this year. (J. Scott Applewhite/Pool Photo/USA Today Network)

Throughout all eight years of his presidency, Barack Obama filled out NCAA tournament brackets on ESPN. Donald Trump is discontinuing the tradition.

According to the Washington Post, Trump declined ESPN’s bracket offer. In a statement provided to the Post, White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks didn’t provide many details about the reasoning behind the President’s decision.

“We look forward to working with ESPN on another opportunity in the near future,” she said.

Obama, a basketball enthusiast who frequently played pick-up games with staff members and other politicians, filled out both men’s and women’s brackets for an annual special on ESPN. Basketball analyst Andy Katz, who guided the President through the process, told the Post Obama’s passion for the game made the arrangement work.

“He wasn’t as dialed in to every player or team but had conversational knowledge to offer his own analysis on the NCAA tournament for the men’s and women’s game. Baracketology was a success because it was clear he was a fan of the sport and the NCAA tournament, like millions of other Americans,” he said.

Though Trump holds an apparent reverence for athletes, it’s unclear how closely he follows sports (he bailed on his beloved Patriots during halftime of Super Bowl LI, missing the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history). While Obama was known to watch SportsCenter in his free time, Trump opts for cable news. He often live-tweets the morning talk shows, offering his unfiltered analysis on Twitter. Wednesday morning, Trump pleaded with his followers to watch Fox and Friends and ditch CNN and MSNBC, which were covering the fallout from Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation.

While ESPN likely would’ve caught flak for collaborating with Trump, much like Saturday Night Live did in 2015 when he hosted an episode, this is a negative development for the WorldWide Leader. In recent months, the network has been criticized for its apparent left-wing bias. Featuring a softball segment with Trump may have helped change that perception –– at least for one day.

Read More: Donald Trump, ESPN,