Soccer Team Names Itself After Donald Trump
Following his decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem, the American president is honored by an Israeli sports organization
American presidents often have some schools and landmarks named after them in their home states when they retire — but how many have a professional sports team named for them?
Now, one does.
Over the weekend, Beitar Jerusalem FC announced its intention to change its name to Beitar Trump Jerusalem FC in honor of President Donald Trump. The move came Sunday afternoon to commemorate Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, officially recognizing the latter as the country’s capital.
On its official Facebook page, the team, which competes in Israel’s highest level of soccer — the Israeli Premier League — praised the American president.
“For 70 years Jerusalem has been awaiting international recognition, until President Donald Trump, in a courageous move, recognized Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel,” the group wrote. “President Trump has shown courage, and true love of the Israeli people and their capital, and these days other countries are following his lead in giving Jerusalem its rightful status.”
"The football club Beitar Jerusalem, one of the most prominent symbols of the city, are happy to honor the president for his love and support with a gesture of our own," the team added.
Trump is one of the few presidents in U.S. history to have played high school soccer — specifically, for the New York Military Academy in 1964.
Plus, his youngest son, Barron, plays for the D.C. United U-12 developmental team, which is affiliated with the city's Major League Soccer club (D.C. United).
Not only did Beitar Jerusalem's move show approval for the president's embassy decision a day before it officially opened, but it also adds to Trump's already extensive history in sports.
Trump owned the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League in the 1980s and considered purchasing the Buffalo Bills in 2014, according to the Associated Press.
A friend of Vince McMahon, Trump is also a member of the WWE Hall of Fame. His Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City played host to a number of high-level pro boxing matches during the 1990s, including the final one of George Foreman's career.
It also hosted UFC 31 in 2001. And now, he has a pro soccer team on another continent named after him.
Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, ESPN, and other outlets.