Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough is pushing back on media reports that claimed he yelled “F*** Trump!” as he walked out of the locker room with his teammates before last night’s National Championship game.
Video of the incident, first reported by Sporting News, went viral and drew a lot of criticism Scarbrough’s way, both for the vulgarity and for seeming to politicize a football game at a time where the NFL anthem protests have left people weary of too much commingling between sports and politics.
Alabama RB Bo Scarbrough yells “F— Trump” before tonight’s title game. pic.twitter.com/RhuhRyNFHh
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) January 9, 2018
But did Scarbrough really make a political statement? “If y’all really listen I said Georgia,” he claimed in a tweet after the game:
If y’all really listen I said Georgia smh about y’all people in this world https://t.co/VXKFBk7Vnh
— Bo Scarbrough (@starbo06) January 9, 2018
The Smoke Room blog agreed with Scarbrough, writing:
Go ahead, all of you that wanted to make everything about politics. Give it another listen, really listen and then remember that this is a college football player about to play in the biggest game of his life. He’s not thinking about anything but beating the Georgia Bulldogs and he did just that.
To be fair, I heard “F*** Trump” when I first watched the video yesterday, but that was how the story was framed. Watching it again now, I believe I hear “Georgia” pronounced with a strong emphasis on the first syllable and the end of the word trailing off, which is not an uncommon pronunciation in this part of the South (Source: I grew up in Florida and have spent a lot of time in Georgia and Alabama.)
Perhaps the moral of the story is that Scarbrough would have been better off avoiding the F word altogether, regardless of to whom it was directed. It was the cursing that drew the media attention; everyone expects players to be fired up before such a big game, but was yelling the F word really necessary?
The video is not conclusive evidence either way that he definitely did nor did not yell about the President. Scarbrough says he said “Georgia,” and I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. What do you think? When you watch the video, do you hear “F*** Trump” or “F*** Georgia”?
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.