CLEVELAND — Don King launched into an impassioned rant on Monday in response to a report in The New York Times that said he was not allowed to speak at this week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland because he once stomped a man to death and was convicted of manslaughter.
Trump pressed to have King speak, after repeatedly boasting that “Big Don King” would be speaking at the convention for him. RNC chair Reince Priebus called him and said the party could not associate itself with someone who was convicted of a felony, the Times reported.
“The Republican Party is limited…they don’t understand,” King said. “[Trump] asked me to speak and said because that I had killed a man and I had been convicted, in a system that’s absolutely crooked from the bottom to the top, that’s supported by the courts, [I could not speak.]”
King, the legendary boxing promoter, was pardoned in 1983 by Ohio Gov. James A Rhodes for the 1966 conviction. He served five years and was released on parole.
“I got a complete pardon from governor James A Rhodes,” King said. “I got a letters … everybody all around the world is calling me to speak. And then you’re going to tell me you can’t do anything?”
He said Trump called him personally to let him know the RNC was not going to let him speak.
King called on voters to “vote for a new system, not for the candidate,” adding that he’s going to “fight harder for Trump and raise money for Trump.”
Asked by Business Insider about a recent Pennsylvania poll that found 0% of African Americans in the state supported the Manhattan billionaire’s candidacy, King blamed it on ignorance.
“They’re ignorant and complacent about what the situation is, it’s the system, it ain’t Donald Trump,” he said. “That’s why Reince Priebus or whatever his name is don’t want me with it. Double D would be a bad mother man.”
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