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Minnesota sports, as seen elsewhere

Tarkenton calls out athletes who won't go to Trump's White House (and scrambles his facts)

Last week, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Imam Shumpert said he wouldn't go to the White House if his team wins another NBA title and gets invited by President-elect Trump. We're going to stay away from the original post, from the website Complex, because some of the language in the interview is NSFW (or youngsters).

In a recap of the interview on TMZ.com, Shumpert was asked if he'd go and simply said: "I'm not going to the White House."

That set off Fran Tarkenton, the Vikings' Hall of Fame quarterback turned businessman and Trump supporter. In an interview with TMZ, Tarkenton said: "If a President of the United States, our No.1 guy, invites you to the [White House] and you're gonna boycott it? Because why? It's stupid."

And Tarkenton added: "Nobody boycotted Obama because he's black did they? No. They all went there because he was our president."

Shumpert cited "racial, sexist [expletive] he's got going on," which Tarkenton turned into a black president/white president issue.

Tarkenton was wrong to say that "everyone went" to the White House when they were invited by President Obama. Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas didn't go when Obama honored the team for winning the 2011 Stanley Cup, citing his political beliefs.

Four of the 12 NASCAR drivers invited in 2011 after qualifying for the season-ending Chase competition turned down their invitations, citing "scheduling conflicts," according to this Associated Press report.

Asked what his conflict was, driver Kevin Harvick said: "I don't think that is anyone's business. It is just a bad week for us."

NASCAR took a public relations hit for the poor attendance and, two years later, all 12 drivers who qualified for The Chase at the end of the NASCAR schedule came to the White House when invited.

"Everybody learned a good lesson to be here this year," said driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the time.

Tarkenton's take doesn't quite qualify as fake news as much as a rant where he scrambled the facts.

Here's the video.

Who is your favorite Minnesota sports play-by-play announcer?

Media members throughout the state began voting this month for the Minnesota Sportscaster of the Year awarded by the National Sports Media Association.

Timberwolves radio play-by-play announcer Alan Horton earned his first nomination in 10 years as the voice of the team. Horton pulls double-duty during Wolves games as a one-man crew. He also served as the voice of the Lynx for seven years, and is unusual in that he works games without a partner, as does Lynx radio voice John Focke.

His competition includes last year’s winner Mike Grimm of Gopher Sports Properties, longtime Twin Cities sportscaster Mark Rosen of WCCO, Fox Sports North Wild play-by-play voice Anthony LaPanta, and Cory Provus of the Twins Radio Network.

Voting will continue throughout December with a winner announced in January.

That voting led us to another question: Who do you think is the best play-by-play caller among the Twin Cities' major sports teams?

Is it the radio voice of the Vikings Paul Allen or maybe someone less in the spotlight like Gophers hockey radio voice Wally Shaver or Marney Gellner, who does Lynx games on Fox Sports North?

Minnesota’s best play-by-play ballot
• Mike Grimm, Gophers football/men's basketball radio
• Dick Bremer, Twins TV
• Alan Horton, Timberwolves radio
• Paul Allen, Vikings radio
• Dave Benz, Timberwolves TV
• Marney Gellner, Lynx TV
• Anthony LaPanta, Wild TV
• Bob Kurtz, Wild radio
• Corbu Stathes, Gophers women's basketball
• Cory Provus, Twins radio
• John Focke, Lynx radio 
• Wally Shaver, Gophers hockey radio

Vote here

Past Minnesota Sportscaster of the Year winners.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

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  • Wild at Toronto

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  • Belmont at Gophers women's basketball

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Poll: Who is your favorite Twin Cities play-by-play announcer?

See more polls

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