There’s a strong possibility that controversial boxing promoter Don King will be one of the celebrities shouting out support for Donald Trump. The Republican National Convention will be held in Don King’s hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, from July 18 through July 21, and King has hopes of being involved.
King initially announced his support for Trump just prior to Muhammad Ali’s funeral. The boxing promoter has said that Trump, a political outsider, could change the American political system for the better. Eighty-four-year-old King, who calls himself a “Republicrat,” who chooses not to label himself politically, also endorsed Bernie Sanders for vice president. (King also endorsed now-President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.) The self-made millionaire said, “I’m going to be involved, definitely. He’s my man,” noted Bustle.
“With Trump calling all these people out, he (is showing he) can’t be bought, he can’t be controlled, the party can’t control him, he works for the will of the people. They are the only ones he has an obligation to. Because through the primaries, he was self-funded. They say he’s dividing and polarizing. No, it’s already polarized, it’s already divided. What he’s doing is exposing, he’s not polarizing.”
According to Politico, Trump said he would likely invite more sports celebrities to speak at the convention and was considering tennis star Serena Williams, Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White, and Don King, as well as other non-politicians. Former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka turned down the invitation.
Don King and Donald Trump, together at last, together as two at the hair salon pic.twitter.com/xutsCKOiHd
— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) June 10, 2016
King now lives in Cleveland, and residents are familiar with his history. He was accused of killing two men. The first incident occurred in 1956, when Don King killed a man named Hillary Brown. It was ruled a justifiable homicide, although Brown was shot in the back while allegedly trying to rob one of King’s illegal gambling houses. In 1966, King was convicted of second-degree murder for stomping Sam Garrett to death — Garrett owed King $600. The judge later reduced the charges to non-negligent manslaughter, and King served slightly less than four years in prison. In 1983, he was pardoned by then-Governor Jim Rhodes.
— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 16, 2016
King has promoted Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Evander Holyfield, Marco Antonio Barrera, and others throughout his career. He has been sued by some on fraud allegations. Former undisputed heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson accused King of cheating him out of millions, and it was settled out of court for $14 million.
Although King was once revered among African Americans and others, he is now viewed by some as irrelevant and a big-time con man who exploited the vulnerable, once-young Mike Tyson. Per Rebrn, Mike Tyson had much to say about Don King.
“(King is) a wretched, slimy, reptilian mother****er. This is supposed to be my ‘black brother’, right? He’s just a bad man, a real bad man. He would kill his own mother for a dollar. He’s ruthless, he’s deplorable, he’s greedy… and he doesn’t know how to love anybody.”
The Daily Beast reported that Trump sang the praises of King at a rally earlier this month.
“You know who I just spoke to? Big Don King. Big Don King. Just spoke to him ten minutes ago. I said Don, I’d love for you to speak at the convention because you know what? You beat the system, and he’s a friend of mine.”
The once revered promoter is viewed by some as a loudmouth who wants attention, which certainly, may have been mandated by his role as a promoter of a violent sport. Another indication was his hair — not because it’s natural — but appears uncut and unkempt. He remains rich, but the backing of the people is no longer there, likely declining when it was revealed how boxer after boxer claimed that he cheated them out of mega dollars.
Maybe Don King’s motivation is not love for Trump but a desire to be in the limelight and respected by the people (especially Clevelanders) — reminiscent of the good old days.
[Photo by Donald Bowers/Getty Images]