Some, if not many, of the Clemson players may have enjoyed their fast-food feast Monday at the White House, but many onlookers felt that the college football national champions deserved a better meal than that provided by President Trump. Ayesha Curry was among those who went so far as to invite the Tigers for another dinner, in her case at one of the two barbecue restaurants she owns.
The wife of Stephen Curry, whose Warriors declined an invitation to Trump’s White House, Ayesha Curry was responding Tuesday to a Twitter user who said “no wonder” the Golden State star snubbed the president if that was the fare one could expect, and that he’d “much rather eat whatever [Curry] is cooking any day.” She replied that her business, International Smoke, “will gladly feed the Clemson Tigers any day.”
“A real feast and celebration,” she added. “No 10 cent dipping sauces on silver platters.”
Curry was referring to a sight that more than a few found incongruous, in which food from fast-food giants including McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s was served on and in silver dishes and fine china, amid the stately grandeur of the White House. While White House officials emphasized that the makeshift meal was a result of the government shutdown, Trump proudly noted that he paid for the “great American food” himself, with an analysis by The Washington Post estimating that he likely spent a little less than $3,000 on it.
The decision to serve the players fast food earned Trump praise in some quarters for its common-man appeal, but elsewhere the president was mocked for failing to shell out for more expensive, not to mention higher-quality, catering. Referring to Trump’s comment that he figured the Big Macs, Whoppers and other items made for the players' “favorite food,” late-night host Jimmy Kimmel said, “What would possibly make you think that? I’ll tell you what made him think that . . . He’s paying the check, so he had to get the cheapest food they could find.”
On Tuesday’s episode of “GMA Day,” co-host Michael Strahan, a former star for the New York Giants, said that he would provide the Tigers “the proper meal that you deserve” for a “great accomplishment.”
“It’s amazing — nothing says, ‘You did a great job,' more than McDonald’s and fast food,” Strahan joked wryly. “It’s really something, because you’d expect you would go and get, probably, a gourmet meal?”
Strahan read a statement from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in which she blamed the Democratic Party’s intransigence on “border security” for the shutdown, and thus the lack of staff to prepare a meal for Clemson, adding that Trump was “personally paying for the event to be catered with everyone’s favorite fast food.”
“You’re a billionaire, man,” Strahan said, looking at the camera and addressing the president. “A billionaire. I can afford fast food!”
The former defensive end, who said “a previous commitment” caused him to miss his own team’s trip to the White House in 2008, after the Giants defeated the then-undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl, claimed that he’d serve Clemson lobster. He didn’t rule out co-host Sara Haines’s suggestion of caviar, saying to the players, “Whatever you want, we’re going to take care of you.”
Migos rapper Quavo also offered to feed Clemson, tweeting in all-caps Tuesday that he wanted to show the team and Trump “how champs are supposed to be treated.” The hip-hop star invited the Tigers to drop by the Atlanta headquarters of his group’s record label, Quality Control Music, “anytime.”
Quavo noted that Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney has been known to hit a dab every now and then, but the Gwinnett County, Ga., native also made sure to stress his loyalty to the Georgia Bulldogs. Quavo didn’t spell out what he’d serve the Tigers, but a reference to the Migos song “Stir Fry” hinted that curry chicken, or perhaps Popeye’s, might be on the menu.
At least a few of the Tigers seemed to be perfectly content to chow down on the fast food Monday, with offensive lineman Matt Bockhorst gaining notice online for a photo in which he gazed in apparent approval at what was laid before him. “I mean, you’re not just gonna NOT eat the Big Macs stacked in a pile, right?” he asked on Twitter.
A meme was circulated Tuesday in which Clemson’s star quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, was purported to have asserted that “it was the best meal we ever had” and that his team had to watch “the coastal elite media trashing it for not being organic vegan.” Lawrence denied saying that, adding, “I don’t know where it came from,” but he was shown by a TMZ cameraman leaving the White House and saying with a smile, “It was awesome. We had McDonald’s and everything. It was good!”
Another Clemson player, though, was overheard while at the buffet saying of Trump’s earlier promise to serve Burger King and the like, “I thought it was a joke.” A teammate reportedly said, “Our nutritionist must be having a fit.”
Ayesha Curry has responded to the president in the past, including posting an eye-roll emoji and an appeal for donations to help earthquake victims in September 2017, after the president tweeted that the White House invitation for her “hesitating” husband and his Golden State teammates was “withdrawn.” Stephen Curry said at the time that his Warriors didn’t “stand for” things that Trump had “said and the things that he hasn’t said in the right terms.”
That followed a sharper comment the preceding February, when Curry said of Trump being called an “asset” by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, “I agree with that description, if you remove the ‘et.’ ” Last year, the two-time NBA MVP claimed that Trump’s criticism of fellow superstar LeBron James was “based in some long-standing racism, in terms of black men with a voice in power.”
On Tuesday, Trump appeared pleased with how his reception for Clemson had gone, tweeting, “Great being with the National Champion Clemson Tigers last night at the White House. Because of the Shutdown I served them massive amounts of Fast Food (I paid), over 1000 hamburgers etc.”
“Within one hour, it was all gone,” he continued. “Great guys and big eaters!”
Read more from The Post: