Kanye West made headlines recently with his visit to the White House and a photograph of him wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. President Donald Trump is a lightning rod for controversy, and is seen by many as a racist for both racial and misogynistic comments he has made. But West is not the only black celebrity throwing support behind The Donald. Republicans are hoping these celebrity voices will turn the tide among African-American voters.

Former National Football League star and Hall of Famer Jim Brown accompanied West on his visit to the White House. The 82-year-old has voiced his support for the President previously saying “I fell in love with him because he really talks about helping black people.”

Brown attended the White House meeting on behalf of the Amer-I-Can Foundation he founded in 1988. The goal of the foundation is to support inner-city youth in acquiring life skills and keep those kids away from gang violence. Brown said he felt the visit was beneficial and positive. Brown admitted in an interview with Fox Sports Radio that many of the President’s policies deserved criticism, but he also feels Trump has been treated unfairly by the media, and that makes Brown sympathetic towards him.

Brown previously met with the then president-elect at his New York Tower during the transition period. At that time Brown confessed that he did not vote for the businessman, but after meeting with him felt like he really talked about helping African-Americans.

Ray Lewis, another former NFL superstar attended the transition meeting in New York with Brown. Lewis also came away from that encounter with positive feelings about the newly elected leader. Lewis’ belief is that the president will address the problems with gang violence and other concerns within the mostly African-American urban centers. The former Baltimore Raven sees the president’s plans for the economy will be beneficial and that black or white is irrelevant.

“The bottom line is job creation and economic development in these urban areas to change the whole scheme of what our kids see,” Lewis said in an interview following the meeting. Along with being positive about the administration’s economic policies, Lewis also voiced support for the nomination of Ben Carson to the Cabinet as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Both Brown and Lewis are former winners of the League’s Most Value Player Award and won championships during their careers. In 2000 Lewis was charged in connection with two murders that took place in Atlanta, but later plead guilty to misdemeanor obstruction of justice charges.

Heisman Trophy winner and former University of Georgia running back Herschel Walker voiced his support for then candidate Trump early in his presidential campaign. Walker was one of the stars of the Trump-owned United States Football League and later appeared on “Celebrity Apprentice.” Walker stood by his support of the controversial presidential candidate even though Walker claims it cost him several speaking engagements. Walker contends that the the man he knows is different than what is portrayed by the media. “

“First of all, I’ve known Donald before he became ‘The Donald,’ and Donald is not a racist,” Walker said Saturday. “Just because you want to build a wall doesn’t make you racist,” Walker said in an interview with TMZ Sports. Walker contends that the business tycoon is the best person to lead the country, and was one of the first celebrities to publicly endorse his candidacy.

Despite the support of these and several other well known African Americans, Republicans are still struggling in polls among minority voters. The collective voices of these African American celebrities reflect a different man than many of their peers see; a man they say has been misrepresented in the media. A man they also believe has the right ideas to help the youth of urban America. The black tide is on its way to change this narrative.


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