The Trump administration on Friday announced it was appointing retired University of Georgia football star Herschel Walker to a two-year post on a plum presidential council.
The White House said Walker, former New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera and beach volleyball gold medalist Misty May-Treanor would serve as co-chairs of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition.
In addition to the co-chairs, the White House released a list of new members for the council, including Dr. Oz, Mehmet Oz and The Hulk actor Lou Ferrigno.
The 62-year-old council creates and promotes programs designed to motivate Americans to “adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition,” according to its website.
Walker’s appointment doesn’t exactly come as a surprise.
Trump and the legendary running back have a friendship going back to the mid-1980s, when Trump purchased the New Jersey Generals for his short-lived United States Football League. Walker had signed with the team after his junior year at UGA, playing there for three seasons before joining the Dallas Cowboys in 1986.
Walker also appeared on Trump’s reality TV show the “Celebrity Apprentice,” and was an early and outspoken supporter on the campaign trail in 2016. The Heisman trophy winner was scheduled to speak on Trump’s behalf at the Republican National Convention in summer 2016 but cancelled at the last minute to be with a sick friend.
Walker is not the only African-American who’s received backlash for supporting Trump. Rapper Kanye West drew a fresh round of criticism for his tweets praising the president earlier this week.
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