Nick Saban Says Trump Visit to Alabama-LSU Game Is ‘An Honor’
Alabama head coach said that President Donald Trump’s visit to the Alabama-LSU game on Saturday will be “an honor.”
Trump is expected to attend the highly-anticipated matchup between the University of Alabama and Louisiana State University, the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country, in the Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.
“Well, it’s an honor, I think, that the president of the United States would be interested enough to come to the game,” Nick Saban said Wednesday. “I’m sure we’ll do everything we can to welcome him.”
Saban met with Trump when Alabama won the national championship in 2017 and was honored in April of last year. He was honored for championship wins four other times during the Obama administration.
“We’ve been to the White House several times and it’s always a very, very flattering, unique experience,” Saban said. “I think if you’re in Bangkok, Thailand, and you said somebody told somebody you had the opportunity to go to the White House, they’d say, ‘That’s quite an honor.’ So we’ve always looked at that as quite an honor to go to the White House.”
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow also said it’s “pretty cool” to have a president watch him play.
“Regardless of your political views, it’s pretty cool having the president at the game,” Burrow, a 22-year-old senior, said at a press conference on Monday. “Doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, president at the game is pretty cool.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s visit to Alabama comes amid controversy over protests.
An email, issued by the Vice President of the Student Government Association, Jason Rothfarb, warned that “additional security will also be in the student section during the game.”
“Any organizations that engage in disruptive behavior during the game will be removed from block seating instantly from the remainder of the season,” it said.
Rothfarb was later forced to clarify reports that students would be punished if they protested against Trump.
He said on Twitter: “Some have misinterpreted my comment regarding ‘disruptive behavior.’ As with other games this season, Organization’s Block Seating locations will be clearly marked, but at certain times, other students can and should have access to open seats. By disruptive behavior, we are asking students to be respectful to all students and staff and avoid altercations. My email has nothing do with anyone’s First Amendment rights and I am sorry for any confusion.”
Trump has visited several high-profile sporting events in recent weeks, including a trip to Madison Square Garden in New York City for UFC 244. He also attended Game 5 of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros.
Several days ago, he honored the Nationals at the White House.