On Wednesday night, Peyton Manning will host the 2017 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles. On Tuesday night, he was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live where he talked with Jimmy Kimmel about everything from enduring his first football-less fall in almost three decades in late 2016 to annoying fantasy football fans.
But the most interesting part of Manning’s sit-down interview with Kimmel came when the late-night TV talk show host asked the former NFL quarterback about his decision to go golfing with Donald Trump in early June. Manning and Trump had gone golfing together before, but Manning received some blowback this time around since Trump was now the President of the United States.
While speaking with Kimmel, Manning explained why he agreed to play a round of golf with Trump, and he said that he felt like it would have been un-American of him to turn down the opportunity. Manning said that, regardless of political party, he would always be up for golfing with whichever President asked him to hit the links. Here’s the conversation Manning and Kimmel had:
Kimmel: When did you play golf with President Trump?
Manning: That was just about a month ago.
Kimmel: How does that happen?
Manning: I was in town, in D.C., for a banquet. I was receiving a very nice award from Ford's Theatre called the Lincoln Medal. So I was in town and the President and a lot of politicians were going to be at the banquet. So they knew I was going to be in town. The White House called and said, 'Hey, the President would like to play golf with you on Sunday. Are you available?' And I gotta tell you, Jimmy, I had a lot of people telling me not to do it.
Kimmel: Who told you not to do it?
Manning: Just, you know, you did.
Manning: But to me, no matter what your beliefs are, I heard Arnold Palmer say one time, 'If the President of the United States ever asks you to play golf, you do it. It’s a no-brainer.' And it was a fantastic experience. I rode in the motorcade over there, and I’ve never felt safer playing golf. We had 30 golf carts behind us.
Kimmel: Because usually golf courses are very dangerous places. [Laughs]
Manning: They are, they are, they are. So it felt safe. He was a great host. He loves sports. We passed through a number of groups. He was very gracious. He took a picture with the groups we passed through. And so, I’ve had a chance to play with President Bush before. If President Obama or President Clinton asked me, I would be there in a heartbeat. It was just the experience of playing with the office, and I think it would have been almost un-American of me to say no.
You can watch that segment of Manning’s interview with Kimmel in the clip above. You can also watch him talk about hosting the ESPYs here: