ESPN to move celebrity golf tournament from Donald Trump course

Real estate mogul Donald Trump arrives to announce his bid for the presidency in the 2016 presidential race on June 16, 2015. (Photo by Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty)
Real estate mogul Donald Trump arrives to announce his bid for the presidency in the 2016 presidential race on June 16, 2015.

ESPN has become the latest sports organization to break ties with Donald Trump.

The cable network announced in a statement Monday that it would be moving their upcoming ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic from the Trump National Golf Club to Pelican Hill Golf Club in Los Angeles on July 14th.

“We decided it was appropriate to change the venue, and are grateful for the opportunity to stage the event at Pelican Hill on short notice,” the statement said. “Diversity and inclusion are core values at ESPN and our decision also supports that commitment.”

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The annual charity outing benefits The V Foundation’s Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, which is named for the late ESPN anchor who passed away earlier this year, and provides resources for important cancer research for minority populations, including both Latinos and African-Americans.

The news comes a week after golfing organizations like the PGA of America and the USGA distanced themselves from the Republican 2016 candidate for president after his inflammatory comments about Mexicans during his campaign launch speech.

Trump claimed that illegal immigration from Mexico has led to an influx of "rapists" and "killers" entering the United States through its southern border. Despite widespread criticism for his comments, Trump has insisted that they are "totally accurate."

Meanwhile, although the PGA called Trump’s comments “inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf,” they declined to comment on plans to play future tournaments at Trump courses, which include the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey and the 2017 Senior PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Virginia.

Despite the ongoing fallout over his controversial statements, Trump continues to be outspoken on immigration. In a statement released by his campaign late on Monday afternoon, the real estate mogul said his initial remarks were being "deliberately distorted by the media."

"I have lost a lot during this presidential run defending the people of the United States," Trump said before name-checking companies like Macy's and msnbc's parent company, NBCUniversal, which have cut ties with him in the wake his remarks. "I have always heard that it is very hard for a successful person to run for president." 

When asked about ESPN's decision to yank it's charity tournament from his course on Monday, he told reporters "It's not a big deal. I haven't even heard of that."