“You want to be leaders and you’re black and I’m here to tell you how to do it,” the Fox Sports host told audience members according to The Washington Post. “Disconnect from this social media garbage; disconnect from these celebrity athletes who don’t really care nothing about you.”
“These athletes today who are trying to be Muhammad Ali for the most part, to me, are making fools of themselves,” he added. “Ali was not worth $500 million like LeBron James. He was not attached to a $100 million corporation like Nike.”
Some 250 guests were seen wearing #MAGA hats to event, according to the Post, showing the same enthusiasm given to President Trump during his White House remarks last week to the Young Black Leadership attendees in which he suggested Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.
“Honest Abe. I wonder if he was really that honest. But you know what, let’s assume Honest Abe was Honest Abe,” he said.
Whitlock’s speech over the weekend echoed previous statements, which have regularly criticized the current politicization of the sports world. In the past, Whitlock has condemned athletes like LeBron James and Colin Kaepernick for using political platforms to grow their social media brand.
At the summit, Whitlock also highlighted the dangers of social media as the root cause of political discourse in the black community, pointing to Twitter and Silicon Valley as some of the issue’s main perpetrators: “They’re controlling our thought and policing our thought through these companies out of Silicon Valley that are imposing their values on us,” he said. “We have all of these athletes hooked up to Twitter.”
However, Whitlock isn’t against all forms of social media. Outside of the sports world, Whitlock praised rapper Kanye West’s social media support of the president, calling one of his tweets “the best tweet of all time.” Last May, Whitaker continued to praise West on the Tucker Carlson show, saying that the rapper is opening up black America’s mind to the detriment of the Democrat party.