Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang re-upped his challenge to Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz to hit the basketball court for a little one-on-one — with the loser donating $5,000 to the winner’s apolitical charity of choice.
While speaking to reporters on his campaign bus on December 10, Yang claimed that Cruz has been avoiding the challenge that both men agreed upon in September.
“You accepted my challenge online, apparently you figured out that I am going to beat you so now you’re ducking me and my team anytime we try to set up a date,” Yang said, according to The Hill.
The entrepreneur claimed that his team has repeatedly attempted to schedule a game between himself and Cruz, but to no avail.
“Are you the kind of leader and Senator that agrees to something and then pretends you didn’t agree to it?” he asked on Tuesday.
He also referred to Cruz as a “dirty, sweaty player” who “hacks” his opposition.
The challenge arose after a Fox News producer replied to a video of Yang playing basketball, saying the two should play each other.
“Sorry. You gotta poll at 5 [percent] or more to play on my court,” Cruz quipped on Twitter.
Yang replied that he had hit the five percent mark in multiple polls.
WATCH: @AndrewYang re-ups the basketball challenge to @tedcruz and calls him a "dirty, sweaty player" and accuses Cruz of ducking the basketball challenge. "Are you the kind of leader and Senator that agrees to something and then pretends you didn't agree to it?" pic.twitter.com/rYSUnD3YGH
— Ben Pu (@BenPu_nbc) December 10, 2019
In September, after Cruz sized up Yang, he tried to suggest a four-on-four game that included staffers, before Yang pared it down to one-on-one.
“Look, the guy is, I’m pretty sure, taller than I am,” said Cruz, according to The Dallas Morning News. “At least from online, it looks like he has a good shot. He’s probably a better ball player than I am. It’s part of why I suggested four-on-four.”
Cruz has played public basketball games for charity in the past. Last June, the Texas senator challenged late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel to a game and won, 11-9. The two required more than 100 shots — and nearly an hour of playtime — to get those combined 20 points.
The Texas Children’s Hospital and Generation One, a Houston-based education non-profit, received more than $80,000 in proceeds from that game.
Some critics claim that Cruz may be putting off Yang, in part, to avoid the candidate getting any more media attention during the primary season. In September, Axios reported that although Yang was polling well — at times within the top six in the Democratic field — he was being treated the same as those in the bottom of the field. As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, Yang supporters launched a Twitter campaign to bring attention to this concern, doing so via the #YangMediaBlackout hashtag that has frequently resurfaced on the social media site’s trending topics list.