Count the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson among those unimpressed with President Donald Trump’s $3,000 fast-food feast that was served during Monday’s White House reception honoring the national champion Clemson Tigers.
The Greenville, S.C. native told the Greenville News that the spread offered by the president was “disgraceful” and that “many people felt offended by it. I felt offended by it.”
Jackson told the paper that “the national champions deserved better” and that the food offered to them was "beneath the status of their accomplishment.”
Trump personally paid for the food because the government shutdown put most of the White House residence staff on furlough, according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
That meant a massive buffet of selections from McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and Domino’s Pizza. Trump lauded the meal as “great American food” and told the Clemson players, “we have everything that I like, that you like.” He added, "and I know no matter what we did, there’s nothing you could have that’s better than that, right?”
Clemson’s football program employs an “executive performance chef” who provides nutritional education in the form of cooking classes and monitoring the eating habits of the players.
Jackson isn’t the first high-profile critic of the White House’s fast-food smorgasbord. Ayesha Curry, Michael Strahan, Migos rapper Quavo and Alinea Group co-owner Nick Kokonas all took exception to what the Tigers ate Monday night and have offered to provide meals befitting a national championship football team.
Curry, the wife of former NBA MVP Stephen Curry and the owner of International Smoke in San Francisco, tweeted that she “will gladly feed the Clemson Tigers any day” and treat them to “a real feast and celebration. No 10 cent dipping sauces on silver platters.”
On the other hand, college students often have a certain affinity for fast food. Some Clemson players “whooped” when they saw the spread, according to a press pool report.
“It was awesome,” quarterback Trevor Lawrence said. “We had McDonald’s and everything. It was good!”
“I mean, you’re not just gonna NOT eat the Big Macs stacked in a pile, right?” Clemson offensive lineman Matt Bockhorst tweeted Monday night.
“[The players] loved it. They lined up,” South Carolina state Rep. Bruce Bannister told the State newspaper. “They all grabbed several [burgers] off the table They all recognized this was a chow line and they were lining up, filling it up.”
Greenville is about 30 miles from Clemson, whose Tigers have now won two national championships in three years under Coach Dabo Swinney. Jackson called Swinney a “great man” in the newspaper interview, saying “I am so, so proud of Clemson.”