Josh Rosen has not been shy about his disapproval of President Donald Trump. The controversy got started after Rosen wore a “F— Trump” hat at one of the president’s golf courses as the 2016 photo above shows.
Rosen told Sports Illustrated that he wore the hat as a joke during his friend’s birthday celebration who was an ardent Bernie Sanders supporter. Sports Illustrated provided details on the incident in a 2016 article.
But that brand of pragmatism has not yet influenced all of his decision-making. Rosen wore a white “F‑‑‑ Trump” bandana around a blue baseball hat while playing at Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., in April, a round he bought as an ironic birthday present for a friend who supported Bernie Sanders. ‘Every single employee on the entire course complimented me,’ Rosen says. He posted a picture on Instagram, where he has 21,400 followers, and it went viral. A faux controversy bloomed. Rolling Stone blogged about him. His teammates overwhelmingly supported him. Mora brought up the Manziel comparison. ‘I don’t regret posting the photo at all,’ Rosen says, ‘because personally I thought it was hilarious.’
Rosen participated in a Q&A session with UCLA teammate Conor McDermott on The Players Tribune website where he expanded on his political thoughts.
Well, I think it’s no secret that I’m not a large fan of Donald Trump — from a policy standpoint and from a human-being standpoint. I think it’s cowardly to run a campaign based on demagoguery and bigotry, and to incite fear so you can rally support for personal gain. He’s feeding off of racial tension and a lack of religious understanding, and a lack of sympathy and empathy for people who are different from him.
I think it’s sad that he’s not even trying to understand important issues and propose legitimate policies to make the country a better place. It seems like he just wants to be president … so he can be president. There’s so much I don’t like. I don’t like his policy positions, and I really don’t like him making racially charged statements to people who don’t know better or understand what it’s like to come from poverty or different backgrounds.
Rosen notes his parents even disagree on political issues, and the perception that he comes from a liberal family is not entirely accurate. Rosen told ESPN his father voted for Trump, and supported his campaign financially.
“My dad voted for Donald Trump and contributed to his campaign,” Rosen told ESPN. “My mom is a strong feminist liberal. That’s how I’m learning compromise. I’m not going to be political; I’m just going to do what I believe is right, and if that happens to fall on the political spectrum, so be it. But there’s a time and a place for it. You might not want to speak against the president in the playoffs or before you have a starting job on a team and actually have a voice.”
During the pre-draft process, many have wondered whether teams would shy away from Rosen given his outspoken political beliefs. Rosen has discussed other issues as well, including criticizing UCLA’s apparel deal with Under Armour. When asked about the potential distraction, one NFL executive told Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller that the concern over Rosen’s outspoken nature is legitimate.
“That’s all funny when you’re not getting 50 people fired if you miss on a quarterback,” the executive told Bleacher Report. “The last thing we need is the face of our team tweeting about the president when we’re on a losing streak.”
Rosen has since admitted his regret on his word choice regarding Trump, but has not backed off the idea behind his hat. There was also a photo of an inflatable hot tub that Rosen had in his room that went viral.
“Hosting a woman in the tub,” Rosen told ESPN. “Again, it’s about tailoring the message — I don’t want to get political, but the thing I regret the most about the Trump thing is using the F-word. I’m a role model for kids. I regret the F-word. Now the hot tub: I accidentally shipped it to my mom’s house. My mom thought it was hilarious and drove it up for me. I thought it was hilarious because she did. But I shouldn’t have had a woman in there. I enjoy making people laugh, but what I find funny and put online, others might misconstrue and find jerkish. I need to refine my message but not lose who I am.”