Just a few days after a less-than-warm welcome at the Nationals and Astros game in Washington D.C., Donald Trump encountered a mixed reception yet again as he became the first sitting U.S. president to attend a mixed martial arts match. While UFC president Dana White has long been a Trump supporter, even speaking in support of the president at the 2016 Republican National Convention, it appeared that the crowd was not as enthusiastic when Trump made an entrance at the event. As shown in videos circulating Twitter, Trump got booed at a UFC match on Saturday, Nov. 2, which saw fighters Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz face off against each other at New York's Madison Square Garden.
It's been a rough week for Trump, who encountered loud boos and chants of "lock him up" when he made an appearance at game five of the World Series on Oct. 27 in the nation's capital. Just a few days later, he was booed once again at game seven of the 2019 World Series, even though he did not attend that game. The crowd erupted in boos at a Trump 2020 campaign video that aired during the game. On Saturday evening, the reception was pretty similar as he made a surprise appearance at a UFC match which was headlined by a bout between Masvidal and Diaz. According to numerous news sources, a chorus of boos was sprinkled in with a few cheers, making it a more mixed reaction than that of the World Series game, but the reception was overall a negative one.
This third public booing was not as severe as the past two according to USA Today, which described the ordeal as "more positive than the last sporting event [Trump] went to, loud music almost immediately began playing to drown out the crowd's reaction as Trump took to the floor." Instead of sitting in a private area, the president took a seat right by the octagon alongside his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump as well as fellow Republican heavyweights like House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Mark Meadows, and Rep. Peter King.
Attendees of the event quickly took to social media to share the crowd's less than favorable reaction to the POTUS, and the hashtag #TrumpBooedAgain is trending.
The president took to Twitter on Sunday to tweet about the experience, calling out all the "MAGA and KAG present."
"Walking into Madison Square Garden last night with @danawhite for the big @UFC Championship fight was a little bit like walking into a Trump Rally," he wrote. "Plenty of MAGA & KAG present. Great energy. Fantastic job Dana! Heading to D.C. and then to Kentucky for a big @MattBevin Rally..."
The president's eldest son took to the social media platform to dispute the claims that his father didn't receive a warm welcome from the crowd.
"Despite the bulls--- from blue checkmark Twitter," Trump Jr. wrote, "when we walked into the arena it was overwhelmingly positive. @danawhite said it was the most electrifying entrance he seen [sic] in 25 years of doing this."
Meanwhile, White — who's previously praised Trump for helping to elevate UFC by taking it "seriously" when others didn't — addressed the mixed reactions at a press conference following the fight:
Whoever you are ... this is America. You believe what you want. If you want to boo, you boo. If you don’t, you don’t. As an American you can do whatever you want. You can choose whatever side you want to be on. I feel like these days, we live in a world where you can’t say, "I’m a Trump guy," or "I’m a Hillary guy," or whatever your deal is. This is America, you do what you want.
Only time will tell whether the president decides to attend the Super Bowl and other sporting events in the near future, but I have a feeling that the Twitterverse will be poised to document the crowds' reactions.