For the owner of the Miami Dolphins, the pressure keeps building.
Word of plans by Stephen Ross to host a fundraiser Friday for President Donald Trump’s re-election have brought criticism from one of his players, big Hollywood names and even former CBS “newsman” Dan Rather.
But in a statement Wednesday, Ross stood up for his rights to speak his mind.
“I always have been an active participant in the democratic process,” Ross, 79, wrote in an email, according to Bloomberg.
“I have known Donald Trump for 40 years, and while we agree on some issues, we strongly disagree on many others and I have never been bashful about expressing my opinions.”
But for the legions of Trump opponents in politics, the news media, the entertainment world and even Ross’ football team, expressing opinions shouldn’t be an option — if those opinions are in favor of the man in the Oval Office.
For Ross, that means calls for a boycott of his businesses — including the SoulCycle and Equinox fitness clubs — from some big names in show business.
Former top model Chrissy Teigen — wife of anti-Trump entertainer John Legend — urged her more than 11 million Twitter followers to dump SoulCycle and Equinox.
everyone who cancels their equinox and soul cycle memberships, meet me at the library. bring weights
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) August 7, 2019
Actor and comedian Billy Eichner — the kind of Hollywood liberal who apparently loves joining lynch mobs — hopped on the bandwagon, too.
Just contacted @Equinox to cancel my membership after many years. Money talks, especially with these monsters. If it’s too inconvenient for u to trade one LUXURY GYM for another, then you should be ashamed. (No disrespect to the many wonderful employees at my local Equinox). Bye!
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) August 7, 2019
And then there was Dan Rather.
So Stephen Ross, the owner of SoulCycle, the Miami Dolphins, and Equinox Fitness is hosting a big fundraiser for Trump. Many of his customers aren’t happy. People can’t vote out the president at the ballot box until next November. Will they vote with their pocketbooks sooner?
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) August 7, 2019
Rather, of course, is the former CBS newsman whose liberal bias was legendary, even in the days when the internet wasn’t around to make it so much easier for Americans to know just how biased their media really was.
He’s been known to be a crank ever since he got fired for trying to swing the 2004 election against George W. Bush with a “fake news” story that’s now a legend of the genre.
Despite it all, as of Thursday, Ross was going ahead with his big-money fundraising luncheon — $100,000 for lunch and a picture taken with the president; $250,000 for lunch and some personal time at a private, roundtable discussion, according to The Washington Post.
And Ross doesn’t see anything wrong with that.
A longtime financial supporter of Republican candidates, he said in the statement that he “will continue to be, an outspoken champion of racial equality, inclusion, diversity, public education and environmental sustainability, and I have and will continue to support leaders on both sides of the aisle to address these challenges.”
It contains all the right liberal buzzwords, of course, but the bottom line is, his event is raising money for Donald Trump.
And that’s why the pressure keeps building.
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