ORLANDO – The Miami Heat no longer will hold its charity golf tournament at President Trump’s Doral golf course, a team spokesman confirmed Tuesday.
The Heat, which has held the event at Doral the last six years, including four since Trump took it over and renamed it Trump National Doral, will move it to another course in 2018.. The Washington Post first reported the story.
The decision was made by the business side of the organization and no contract was broken. The basketball operations side of the Heat, including players, were unaware of the move. Moving the tournament, though, is not uncommon. In recent years it has been held at Shula’s Golf Club and the Miccosukee Golf & Country Club. The 2018 tournament will be at Deering Bay Yacht & Country Club.
The tournament benefits the Miami Heat Charitable Fund and is one its top three annual fundraisers along with black-tie gala and family festival.
Trump attacked the NBA and NFL in recent weeks, withdrawing an invitation to the champion Golden State Warriors to visit the White House after learning that Stephen Curry was considering boycotting the trip and suggesting any NFL player who kneels during the National Anthem as a form of protest to racial injustices should be fired. He then added “wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b— off the field right now.”
More than a hundred NFL players knelt during the anthem immediately after Trump’s comments and most of those who did not kneel stood and locked arms. Since, some teams knelt as a show of unity before the anthem and then stood and locked arms during the anthem.
Just as they did last season, Heat players and coaches lock arms during the playing of the National Anthem as their way of taking a stand against social and racial injustices.
The Heat open the regular season Wednesday in Orlando.
“We are an organization that honors the military, we honor the flag, we honor our soldiers that have committed their lives for this country,” coach Erik Spoelstra said before the team’s first preseason game. “We also want our players to absolutely have a voice.
Heat players Justise Winslow and Udonis Haslem were outspoken about Trump’s recent comments when asked during the team’s media day.
Winslow said that if he was in the position he would not visit the White House while Trump was president. “Hopefully one day it can be that honor that it once was,” he said.
“It’s like every time he opens his mouth. … it’s like, oh, really?” Haslem said. “When you think you can’t say anything worse. … “
Spoelstra called this a “disheartening” time and said he “commends” the Warriors for not visiting the White House. Even if they were invited, the Warriors were expected to decline.
Of the at least 18 men’s pro teams who stayed at Trump’s hotels in New York or Chicago, at least 16 have said they will not longer stay, the Post reported. And five teams that held golf tournaments at Trump clubs have decided not to return, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Rangers, soccer’s L.A. Galaxy and now the Heat.