University of Michigan alumni issued an open letter to Miami Dolphins owner and Trump supporter Stephen Ross Wednesday asking him to “disavow his support for Trump.”
The University of Michigan alumnus and benefactor received backlash recently when his fundraising event for the president became known.
Ross is hosting fundraising events in the Hamptons for the president Friday where tickets range from $5,600 to $250,000, according to The Washington Post. People who buy the highest price tickets will receive lunch, a private roundtable, and a photo-op with Trump.
“The recent news that Stephen Ross, a fellow alumnus and university benefactor, is hosting a high dollar fundraiser for Donald Trump’s re-election is deeply disturbing. Stephen Ross has been a close friend and supporter of the University of Michigan. His name is strewn across campus buildings and associated strongly with university institutions. This is why we, as fellow alumni and university supporters, are compelled to speak up and condemn Stephen Ross’ support for Donald Trump,” the letter states.
Alumni who wrote the letter are “deeply concerned” about how Ross’ financial contributions to Trump’s re-election efforts will affect the school long term.
The letter asks the University of Michigan to remove his name from the campus if he continues his support for Trump. As a major supporter of the University of Michigan, the school named its business school building after him.
“This is an unprecedented moment, which calls for unprecedented action. As history watches, our university and alma mater community deserve better,” the letter reads.
Miami Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills, one of Ross’ players, questioned his boss’ Trump fundraising efforts on Twitter.
“You can’t have a non profit with this mission statement then open your doors to Trump,” he said.
— Kenny Stills (@KSTiLLS) August 7, 2019
More backlash came from celebrities Billy Eichner and Chrisy Teigen, who urged people to cancel their memberships to the fitness brands he owns, such as Equinox and SoulCycle.
Eichner tweeted, “Hey @Equinox – what’s your policy for canceling memberships once a member finds out your owner is enabling racism and mass murder?”
Hey @Equinox – what’s your policy for canceling memberships once a member finds out your owner is enabling racism and mass murder?
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) August 7, 2019
“Everyone who cancels their equinox and soul cycle memberships, meet me at the library. Bring weights,” Teigen tweeted.
everyone who cancels their equinox and soul cycle memberships, meet me at the library. bring weights
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) August 7, 2019
Ross released a statement following the criticism.
“I have always been an active participant in the democratic process. I have known Donald Trump for 40 years, and while we agree on some issues, we strongly disagree on many others and I have never been bashful about expressing my opinions.”
— Eben Novy-Williams (@novy_williams) August 7, 2019
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