That’s because within minutes the famous boxing promoter had dropped the N-word in a church.
The slur occurred as King introduced the GOP presidential nominee at a campaign event at an African-American church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, as a part of Trump’s ongoing, rather ham-handed outreach to black voters. King, a Cleveland native and boxing hall of famer, had endorsed Trump months ago and had said he wanted to do whatever he could to support the campaign.
“America needs Donald Trump, we need Donald Trump, especially black people,” King told the crowd.
And then he dropped an N-bomb while talking about assimilation and Michael Jackson.
“I told Michael Jackson, I said, ‘If you’re poor, you are a poor negro’—I would use the N-word,” King said onstage. “But if you rich, you are a rich negro...If you’re a dancing and sliding and gliding nigger—I mean negro—you are a dancing and sliding and gliding negro.. So you’re going to be a negro ’til you die.”
Bloomberg first reported King was joining Team Trump on an Ohio campaign swing starting Wednesday morning. King’s assistant confirmed to The Daily Beast that King is scheduled to appear at subsequent Ohio campaign events in Dayton and Toledo.
This past summer, the enthusiastically pro-Trump boxing promoter had been angling to speak onstage at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. However, Republican officials, including GOP chairman Reince Priebus, eventually convinced Trump not to invite King to be a prime-time speaker because King had been convicted of manslaughter for stomping a man to death.
“I’m not speaking because Reince Priebus is still thinking he don’t like black people,” King told reporters in July, accusing the chairman of racism. “I have less than a damn about what Reince Priebus thinks, especially when he’s so antiquated.”
Over the course of the campaign, Trump has repeatedly stated publicly how much he loves King and has touted King’s endorsement multiple times. In July, King told The Daily Beast that the real-estate mogul had personally called him to discuss why he would not be featured on the official roster of convention speakers.
“He come back and he told me that that’s [how] it is,” King, disappointed, said at the time.
Whether King will make a difference among black voters isn’t clear, but Trump could use all the help he can get. The Republican nominee is polling at devastatingly low numbers among African-American voters, often approaching zero percent.
“What do you have to lose?” Trump asked black voters to consider last month. “You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. Fifty-eight percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?”