On Tuesday, famed NFLer Jerry Rice offered praise to President Donald Trump for pardoning former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr.
“I take my hat off to Donald Trump,” the legendary wide receiver told reporters while standing on the North Lawn of the White House.
“It’s all about just being here for Eddie today,” Rice added.
The former 49er won three Super Bowls under DeBartolo.
“He’s the main reason why we won so many Super Bowls,” Rice told reporters. “So today is a great day for him. I’m glad to be here and be a part of that. It’s just something I will never forget. This man, he has done so much in the community, has done so much in NFL football.”
Trump has pardoned Eddie DeBartolo Jr., the Former Owner of the 49ers
— Christina Aguayo 🇺🇲America’s Daily Report (@TinaAguayotv) February 18, 2020
Trump signed an executive order Tuesday granting clemency to DeBartolo, who was given a $1 million fine and two years of probation in 1998 for bribing former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards in a gambling fraud scandal, USA Today reported.
Former NFL stars Jim Brown, Ronnie Lott, and Charles Haley were also in attendance outside the White House, the report noted.
Jim Brown, speaking to reporters, said DeBartolo is “a great man.”
“I’m here to support him,” Brown said, adding, “I’m 100% behind his humanity and he’s been a great, great friend of mine and to the league.”
NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown was also at the White House to support his great friend Eddie DeBartolo after he was pardoned by President Trump.
— KUSI News (@KUSINews) February 18, 2020
“You know what, we all make mistakes and today the president cleared that mistake from him,” Hall of Fame defensive end Charles Haley said, according to KUSI News.
Trump ally Ohio Pastor Darrell Scott “said that he submitted the package advocating DeBartolo’s case more than a year ago, and said a long list of ‘NFL greats’ had submitted character references on his behalf,” KUSI reported. “Scott had also encouraged Trump to intervene on behalf of the New York rapper A$AP Rocky after he was detained in Stockholm in last summer after getting involved in a street fight in the Swedish capital.”
“It’s something DeBartolo… he’s been wanting that stain removed from his legacy for a long time,” Scott said, the outlet noted.
— Dr.Darrell Scott (@PastorDScott) February 18, 2020
On Tuesday, President Trump also “commuted the 14-year prison sentence of former Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois, the Democrat who was convicted of trying to essentially sell Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat for personal gain, and pardoned the financier Michael R. Milken and Bernard B. Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner,” The New York Times reported.
“Yes, we commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich,” Trump told reporters. “He served eight years in jail, a long time. He seems like a very nice person, don’t know him.”
“By commuting the sentence, the president would free Mr. Blagojevich from prison without wiping out the conviction,” the Times reported, noting that “Republicans have advised the president against it, arguing that Mr. Blagojevich’s crime epitomizes the corruption that Mr. Trump had said he wanted to tackle as president.”
Trump also told reporters Tuesday that he thought the sentence of Roger Stone was too harsh and that Stone has been treated unfairly.