Trump calls Paralympic Games 'tough to watch,' Twitter erupts in fury
All of the Olympic and Paralympic athletes who competed in Pyeongchang were invited to the White House for the Friday ceremony. It included a speech on the Paralympic Games from President Donald Trump, which was riddled with certain words you might expect, including "incredible" and "inspiring."
But then it all went downhill. "It's a little tough to watch too much, but I watched as much as I could, it was really fantastic, and I want to thank you," the president said.
The remark has unsurprisingly garnered its fair share of reaction online, including from US figure skater Adam Rippon. He tweeted before the event that he would be skipping it because he "will not stand with people who discriminate against those that they perceive as different."
Olympians from the 2018 Games have been invited to go to the White House today. I will not be going. I will not stand with people who discriminate against those that they perceive as different. In lieu of going to DC, I have donated to a few of my favorite causes 🙆🏼♂️❤️ https://t.co/qDXqswTHdF— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) April 27, 2018
He tweeted later after Trump's remark, reiterating that he had "no regrets about missing this trip."
Current mood: Having no regrets about missing this trip. https://t.co/xxcKxKz6NL— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) April 28, 2018
Comedian Sarah Silverman also chimed in, saying she wished there was someone in that exact moment who could have responded to the "tough to watch" remark by asking Trump: "How so?"
I wish there was someone there in that moment to immediately say, “how so?” when he says these insane things. He is never held accountable in the moment. Honestly just a, “Wait- what?” would go miles I think. Instead we complain to each other, later, in our echo chambers https://t.co/oQLbPKBpPy— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) April 28, 2018
Other social media users were just as angry at the US president's comment. "Nice job insulting the Paralympic athletes by telling them they are tough to watch. You are tough to watch all the time," Twitter user Michael Leegan wrote.
Nice job insulting the Paralympic athletes by telling them they are tough to watch. You are tough to watch all the time.— Michael Leegan (@Mleegan) April 28, 2018
Another said that Trump "cannot hold a candle" to Paralympians. "They beat Trump in every way possible. Trump is overweight and lazy!"
Trump cannot hold a candle to these brave men and women who have trained long and hard to be part of the Paralympic Games. They beat Trump in every way possible. Trump is overweight and lazy!— Sharon Caliendo (@PhiKapMom) April 28, 2018
Others took the opportunity to remind about what happened on the campaign trail, when Trump came under fire for allegedly mocking a disabled reporter – a claim which a campaign official reportedly said wasn't true, noting that Trump was unaware of his condition when he mocked him.
During the campaign, Trump showed us his prejudice against people with disabilities, as he mocked a physically disabled reporter. But an award ceremony for American Paralympic athletes is an odd place to express his prejudice out loud. It's #offensive .— Margaret Nielsen (@msunielsen) April 27, 2018
Another person called on Trump to "apologize to the Paralympic movement and all of the athletes who participate in it."
President Trump called the Paralympics "tough to watch"...the Paralympics is one of my favorite sporting events.Trump should apologize to the Paralympic movement and all of the athletes who participate in it. https://t.co/jdBj2jKEzO— Aaron Camp (@ProgMid) April 28, 2018
Still, a self-proclaimed "Trump detractor" was willing to give the president the benefit of the doubt.
I am as big a Trump detractor as you will find. He’s an embarrassment. But sometimes people go overboard looking to hang him. I interpret his comments to mean that watching these Paralympic athletes is so touching that it can be emotionally draining to watch them.— Sal (@Salmazzurco) April 28, 2018
"I interpret his comments to mean that watching these Paralympic athletes is so touching that it can be emotionally draining to watch them," he wrote.
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