By Lindsay Gibbs
July 20, 2016
On Tuesday in Cleveland, the sports world played a prominent part in the Republican National Convention.
LPGA golfer Natalie Gulbis, currently ranked No. 492, and UFC owner Dana White both took the main stage at the convention to give speeches praising Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for his loyalty, friendship, and fight.
But it was former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz that really stole the show. At a Republican National Coalition for Life luncheon Holtz fervently spoke out against the “invasion” of immigrants in the United States, saying that immigrants need to better assimilate to the United States and, well, “become us.”
“I don’t want to become you,” he said, as reported by The Daily Beast. “I don’t want to speak your language, I don’t want to celebrate your holidays, I sure as hell don’t want to cheer for your soccer team!”
Holtz was speaking at an event honoring Phyllis Schlafly, the 91-year-old “conservative icon” who is most well-known for her anti-feminist ideals and desire to put a pause on all new immigration into the country.
Schlafly was one of the first prominent conservatives to endorse Trump, and did so mainly because of his views on immigration.
Holtz has been a passionate supporter of the Republican Party for many years, though he has made occasional donations to Democrats, including Hillary Clinton. Back in 1983, he was pressured to resign from his position as the coach of Arkansas after he shot ads endorsing Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), a noted racist.
Holtz, who praised Adolf Hitler for being a “great leader” in 2008 when he worked for ESPN, first endorsed Trump back in May.
“There are nothing but winners in Indiana,” he said. “The main reason I’m endorsing him: I played on his golf course, I stayed in his hotel. He does nothing but go first class in everything. He wants this country to be first class as well.”
In his speech on Tuesday, Holtz also attacked those who receive government assistance.
“Forty-seven percent of people make a living by the way they vote," he said, echoing Mitt Romney's infamous 2012 speech. “They can make a living by the way they vote ... but they can’t make a life.”
Holtz also said that he had a bumper sticker on his car that reads, “Jesus loves you. Everybody else thinks you’re an asshole.”
Throughout his campaign, Trump has heavily touted his close ties to the sports world. In the last couple of months, he's publicly extended invitations to speak at the GOP convention to NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, NCAA basketball coach Bobby Knight, boxer Mike Tyson, NASCAR CEO Brian France, tennis star Serena Williams, and former quarterback Tim Tebow.
But, halfway through the convention, the "winners" on stage at the RNC have been few and far between.
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