Despite reports that he’s been booted from the Republican National Convention’s speakers list in Cleveland, Don King is still standing by his guy, Donald Trump.
The boxing promoter drew a sizable crowd of reporters as he made his way through the Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday, issuing a resounding endorsement of the GOP’s newly-minted nominee.
“I’m here for the will of the people and Donald Trump happens to be their choice,” King told TheWrap. “I’m going to work with Donald Trump for the will of the people to have freedom, justice and equality.”
Trump had courted the flamboyant boxing legend to speak at the convention. But the move ruffled some Republican establishment feathers, and RNC Chairman Reince Preibus finally insisted on King’s removal on the grounds that he had once stomped a man to death and been convicted of manslaughter, the New York Times reported.
King didn’t seem to show any signs of bitterness on Wednesday as the party was getting ready for Trump’s acceptance speech.
While King’s removal from the speakers list seemed to have calmed some critics within the Republican party, it may do little to quell growing criticism about the GOP’s lack of diversity.
Trump has been widely criticized for comments about Muslims and Mexicans. And earlier this week, House Speaker Paul Ryan came under fire for posting a selfie on Instagram featuring a cohort of predominantly white Congressional interns. The photo was quickly mocked online for its homogeneity and spurred a number of memes on social media.
But King told TheWrap he doesn’t believe Trump is a racist.
“That is a bit [of a] crock because we’re already divided… Donald Trump represents that figure that will go and put himself in harm’s way for the betterment of this great nation,” he said.