Rory McIlroy was asked during his press conference before the WGC-Mexico Championship about playing golf with Donald Trump. The 27-year-old from Northern Ireland didn’t need to address those bashing him in the first place, but he did and his explanation should be enough for everyone to just shut up and leave it alone.
McIlroy said, “I was just doing what I thought was respectful.”
This isn’t difficult to understand. McIlroy, who isn’t a United States citizen, was extended an invitation to play golf with one of the most powerful and influential political office holders in the world. He accepted that invitation because it was a chance to play golf with the president of the United States of America. As he said, he would have accepted that invitation had it come from Obama or any other president as well.
There was no political reason for doing so and McIlroy restated that he would likely have voted for an independent candidate. The two, Trump and McIlroy, share a love for the game of golf.
Calling McIlroy a racist or a bigot because he played golf with someone who he could not legally even vote for is just dumb. No matter what party you are affiliated with or how you feel about Trump, sometimes sports can be about SPORTS.
McIlroy also talked about Tiger Woods, saying, “I’ve always said golf is way better with Tiger Woods playing and playing well, but unfortunately right now his body isn’t allowing him to do that and I actually caught up with him and had lunch with him last week and we had a great time, just the two of us sat down and I think the good thing is mentally he’s in a good place.”
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 28, 2017
McIlroy was also asked, “What’s your definition of a great player these days? Guy’s a professional for 10 years, what’s his record have to look like for someone to call him great?”
His answer was quite complex as he struggled to find the right words for an answer that wouldn’t offend any of the great players who haven’t won a major.