NBA legend and Turner Sports analyst Kevin McHale is being slammed on social media. Not because he made an inflammatory comment, offended a particular group or even unleashed unpopular basketball views. McHale is under fire because it appears he attended a rally for President Trump.
A man who appears to be the 6-foot-10 McHale was visible in the background during Trump’s rally in Duluth, Minn. on Wednesday night and Internet sleuths quickly noticed and decided he shouldn’t be associated with the sport going forward.
Sports radio host Henry Lake wrote, “If Kevin McHale actually showed up to Trump’s rally in Duluth today with everything that is happening now and what Trump’s done and stands for, yeah he’s cancelled.”
A different Kevin McHale, an actor who appeared in “Glee,” tweeted, ‘If you're looking for a different Kevin McHale to support, one who most definitely would never attend a Trump rally or align himself with racists, etc., I'm still here.”
Writer Nathaniel Friedman tweeted that McHale “is extremely stupid for attending a public Trump event” and that he should “never work in the NBA again.”
McHale, a Minnesota native, made seven NBA All-Star Games and was part of three championship teams during the Boston Celtics dynasty in the 1980s. After his Hall of Fame playing career, he held coaching gigs with the Houston Rockets and his hometown Timberwolves.
McHale’s current employer, Turner Sports, declined comment. A company spokesperson declined to confirm whether or not it was actually McHale.
The Score editor Chris Walder was “disappointed” with McHale and dug up his wife's pro-Trump Twitter feed. New York Daily News columnist Carron J. Phillips implied that people from Boston and Minnesota are racist.
Liberal blog Deadspin published an article headlined, “Celtics great Kevin McHale enjoys old feeling of being in an arena full of screaming bigots.”
Filmmaker Adam Best wrote, “Slap a scarlet letter on Kevin McHale and anybody else still supporting Trump after three years of this BS.”
Dozens of athletes have spoken out against President Trump and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry famously said he would not go to the White House if invited (Trump then rescinded the invite). LeBron James made the same claim but his team came up short of the NBA title that typically comes with an invitation. Meanwhile, sports media members such as ESPN’s Jemele Hill have openly criticized the president.
"Every time I think the far left wing in this country mixing sports and politics can’t get any more insane — they do."
Author and talk radio host Clay Travis penned a scathing reaction, in which he mocked anti-Trump personalities over the outrage.
“Every time I think the far left wing in this country mixing sports and politics can’t get any more insane — they do,” Travis wrote on his Outkick the Coverage blog.
“It’s important to note that LeBron James attended a Hillary Clinton campaign event on the stage and not one person with any kind of audience in the country had any issue with that or even remotely suggested it should impact his job status,” Travis added.
“The NBA has, of course, been filled with coaches, among them, Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich, who have publicly condemned Donald Trump all season long. No one has suggested that they should be fired or rendered unemployable by the NBA for those opinions.”
McHale did not immediately respond to a request for comment.