Herschel Walker, a Heisman trophy winner and former professional football player, spoke at the first night of the Republican National Convention Monday, where he defended President Donald Trump’s character and disputed allegations of racism against the president.
Walker, who played in the United States Football League for the New Jersey Generals, a team previously owned by Trump, said he has considered Trump a friend for 37 years.
“It hurt my soul to hear the terrible names that people call Donald. The worst one is racist,” Walker said. “I take it as a personal insult that people would think I’ve had a 37-year friendship with a racist. People who think that don’t know what they are talking about.”
“Growing up in the Deep South, I’ve seen racism up close. I know what it is. And it isn’t Donald Trump,” Walker added.
Walker also explained that, contrary to how some have protested racial injustice at sporting events, Trump is committed to reforming racial issues through actions, rather than virtue signaling.
“Just because someone loves and respects the flag, our National Anthem and our country, it doesn’t mean they don’t care about social justice,” he said. “He shows how much he cares about social justice in the black community through his actions. And his actions speak louder than stickers and slogans on a jersey.”
Walker also talked about his time under Trump’s leadership on the football field, saying that as an owner, Trump knew how to prioritize what was important and treat people right.
“He taught me that the family should be your top priority,” Walker said, after sharing a touching story about Trump joining his family at Disneyland, riding “It’s a Small World” in a suit.
“He learned about the history of the team, the players, the coaches, every detail. I watched him treat janitors, security guards and waiters the same way you would treat a VIP,” he added.
Walker assured Americans that Trump is fully committed to his job, working on their behalf.
“He works night and day. He never stops. He leaves nothing on the field. Some people don’t like his style, the way he knocks down obstacles that get in the way of his goals. People on the opposing team didn’t like when I ran over them either. But that’s how you get the job done,” Walker added, alluding to his time as a running back.
Watch Walker’s full speech here: