Accompanying the former president and first lady Melania Trump is former NFL star Herschel Walker, who is running for a US Senate seat in Georgia. The former president’s support of Walker, which came initially over reservations from much of the GOP establishment, has given the former running back a boost ahead of next year’s primary. Republicans are hoping to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in the general election.
During the game, Trump participated in the “Tomahawk chop,” a stadium-wide chant and longtime tradition at Braves games that has been under renewed scrutiny as part of a national discussion about racism and racial imagery in professional sports.
Several advocacy groups and observers have accused the chant of mocking Native American groups and decried it as racist. But many Braves fans, including Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, have dismissed the criticism, and the stadium has led the fans in doing the chant in both Games 3 and 4 of the series.
Trump has frequently sought to capitalize politically on such controversies as part of an effort to galvanize the White voters who make up much of his political base.
In a statement earlier Saturday, the former president said he was “looking forward to being at the World Series in Atlanta,” adding that he and Melania were “looking forward to a wonderful evening watching two great teams!”
He thanked MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and New York Yankees’ president Randy Levine for the invite.
“He called MLB and wanted to come to the game,” McGuirk told the paper. “We were very surprised. Of course, we said yes.”
His 2020 presidential campaign also made a seven-figure ad buy during the final game of the 2019 World Series.
Since leaving office, Trump attended a UFC fight card in July and provided commentary on a boxing match on September 11.