NFL legends Jim Brown and Ray Lewis are headlining a Donald Trump pre-inauguration party where guests can pay $2,500 to talk to the two in private.
Held in conjunction with Brown’s near 30-year-old Amer-I-Can empowerment program, the early day event is scheduled for Jan. 19, the day before Trump is slated to be sworn in as the nation’s 45th president.
The early guest list includes a slew of people with known connections to Cleveland, where Brown starred for nine seasons as a Hall of Fame back with the Cleveland Browns. Among those known to be expected on hand are Cleveland-area pastor Darrell Scott, former San Francisco 49ers owner and Youngstown native Eddie DeBartolo, and Youngstown-area businessman Bruce Zoldan.
Legendary college basketball coach Bobby Knight, Fox News anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle, and former The Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault are also rumored to be on the guest list.
The $1,000 event will be held just a stone’s throw from the White House, at the law of office of K&L Gates. The “private VIP briefing” with Brown and Lewis is being offered to the first 25 people willing to fork over the additional $2,500.
Brown, Lewis, and hip-hop star Kanye West first publicly met with Trump earlier this month at Trump Tower in Manhattan and immediately came under fire in the black community for aligning themselves with a newly crowned leader who as a candidate categorically chastised African-Americans as “living in poverty” with “no good schools or jobs.”
As his official installation as the country’s next president has neared, Team Trump has encountered all levels of difficulty convincing major celebs or performers to take part in his inauguration based on all the divisiveness his candidacy sparked.
Trump has vowed to carry out mass deportations of immigrants and at times has proposed instituting bans on Muslims entering the U.S.
Everyone from Elton John to David Foster are rumored to have turned down offers to perform at the event and thus far the only confirmed performers include the likes of America’s Got Talent contestant Jackie Evancho, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the Radio City Rockettes, who reportedly are being forced to perform or face the risk of being terminated.
More recently, Trump has sought to soften the sting by claiming plenty of “so-called A-List celebrities” want tickets to the event but he would rather have them go to the people.
“Look what celebrities did for Hillary, nothing,” he said of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Later, Trump’s newly named counselor and campaign spokesperson Kellyanne Conway seconded his claims during a Good Morning America early interview.
“This is not the Academy Awards, this is the inauguration for the people the way this has been the election for the people,” she said. “This is the people’s president.”
Neither Trump’s nor Conway’s claims have gone over well with members of Hollywood, with several of them taking to social media to mock and scorn him over his comments.
“Hi – we are people too,” said model Chrissy Teigen, who along with husband John Legend, were ardent Clinton supporters. “You are our president too. I don’t want you to be, but u are. Also we all know you are dying without the approval, dear.”
Saturday Night Live star Alec Baldwin, who has publicly feuded with Trump over some of his impersonations of him on the show, stayed true to his humorous roots, tweeting, “I wanna perform at Trump’s inauguration. I wanna sing ‘Highway to Hell.'”
[Featured Image by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images]