Bobby Bowden's vote for Trump

No matter a person's lifelong integrity, if he dares to support Trump, the left will instantly malign him as a racist — even when all the facts show otherwise.  Such is the case with legendary former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden.

Many sports fans are still in an uproar because of Bowden's recent "Statement on beating COVID-19."  After expressing gratitude for support through his recovery, the 91-year-old Bowden concluded:

I've had the chance to get a lot of wins in my life, but I really wanted to win this one because I wanted to be around to vote for President Trump.

Heated condemnation came fast and furious.  Former Seminoles wide receiver P.K. Sam proclaimed in a since-deleted tweet, "Told y'all Bobby Bowden was a racist!"

Others, including sports personality Marc Isenberg, followed:

Bowden worked with black athletes his entire career and this is his end-of-life message? He was always a racist...but now he's not being fake nice.

Neither Sam nor Isenberg provided evidence to back their claims.  Nor did they explain why a vote for Trump is racist, or why Trump is racist in the first place.  I happen to agree with brilliant minds like Dr. Thomas SowellJason Whitlock, and Larry Elder, who assert that no hard evidence exists proving Trump racist.  Rather, they suggest that the opposite is true.  Indeed, Trump has denounced racism repeatedly, including after Charlottesville and during Trump's first debate with Joe Biden.

But this is about Bobby Bowden. 

Bowden coached the Seminoles from 1976 to 2009.  He's widely recognized as one of the greats in college football history.  I was a member of what many considered Bowden's first #1 recruiting class, and I played during Florida State's "Dynasty" years (1987–2000).  This run included two national championships and an unrivaled, consecutive 14-year streak of top-four finishes.

I can speak for only myself, but not once did Bowden give the slightest indication he was racist.  Nor did I ever see Bowden betray his public image, which reflected his well documented dedication to the priorities of "Faith, Family, and Football."

To Bowden, faith came first:

Faith is the most important thing in my life[.] ... I was raised a Christian[.] ... I was raised with that as the most important thing in the world[.] ... The way I always taught it is, number one is God. Number two is your family, and number three is other people — putting them ahead of yourself[.] ... If you put your priorities in this order, you will be successful in life.

Bowden's faith sharpened his understanding of his role as a father figure for so many of his players who were raised without one.

This was the Bowden I knew.

So what's with the charges of "racism"?  Despite Trump's flaws, is it possible Bowden supports Trump because Trump best advocates Bowden's priorities, rather than the racism canard?

Indeed, it is.  Bowden said so, in the very statement now being used against him:

America is the greatest country this side of heaven. We have the freedom to pursue our faith in God, our dreams for our career, and our love for our families. For too long now, politicians in Washington have run America down and apologized for our greatness[.] ... We have to get out and vote for President Trump because re-electing him is our only chance to leave the next generation with the same heritage, beliefs, and opportunities that Ann (Bowden's wife) and I had and that many of you had.

(Thomas Sowell also thinks this election is the last chance to retain our constitutional republic.)

Sounds like Trump.  Bowden's correct about "politicians in Washington."  Not to necessarily endorse or denounce either candidate, but Trump's opponent, Joe Biden, has been one of those politicians for nearly five decades.

Regardless of where one stands on the issues — or whether one even thinks government is the proper remedy for the issues — it's Trump who supports policies consistent with Bowden's priorities.  Trump even loudly lobbied to bring college football back from lockdown. 

Note that Bowden emphasizes the necessity of freedom to pursue faith, dreams, and love.  The last pursuit — love — is the Golden Rule, the simple, unconquerable root of Christianity.

A majority of Christians agree that, despite his flaws, Trump shows a greater dedication to this freedom, even though he's politically incorrect. 

Bowden's addressed political incorrectness, too:

If our nation goes down, it's because of political correctness, in my opinion[.] ... I'd rather be spiritually correct than governmentally correct.

Bowden also understood that he would someday be targeted:

The Bible is big in my teaching. It's a wonder the ACLU didn't get after me pretty good. I really kept thinking they would.

Well, Bowden's targeted now, by people calling him "racist."

It's obvious why Bowden supports Trump.  It's not about "racism."  Rather, it's about the freedom to pursue faith, dreams, and love. 

All human beings are flawed.  Sometimes, the most deeply flawed work into the deeper plans for all of us, as individuals.  For Bowden, I pray sports fans and his former players recognize and dignify this fact.  For America, I pray Americans do, too.

Image: Bobby Bowden on his birthday. YouTube screen grab.

If you experience technical problems, please write to