NC triathlon canceled after controversy over Trump name

Updated: Sep. 16, 2017 at 5:17 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTE, NC (LaVendrick Smith/The Charlotte Observer)- A triathlon that was scheduled to take place at a Trump National golf course in Mooresville has been canceled a few days after the race director changed the name of the event to distance itself from President Donald Trump's name.

The race, originally called "Tri at the Trump," was scheduled to be held at Trump National Golf Club, Charlotte on Oct. 8.

Race organizer Chuck McAllister told the Observer this week he received several complaints over the summer about the name of the race, which benefits children who have cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. On Tuesday, he announced the name had been changed to "Tri for Good."

"I hope by making this announcement, we can focus on what our core values are and the goals we are trying to achieve with our race," McAllister said in a Facebook post Tuesday.

[READ MORE: NC triathlon drops Trump name from event title after political backlash]

But on Saturday, McAllister decided to cancel the race, not wanting the event to become even more politicized. "The best way to avoid a situation is to not create one at all," McAllister told the Observer.

The decision to cancel was difficult, he said, noting the event is not intended to be political.

This year would've been the triathlon's fourth year, and McAllister said the race began long before Trump was a presidential candidate.

McAllister is a member at Trump National Golf Club and held a fundraiser at the venue last summer for Trump's campaign. The backlash over the race title from both sides of the political spectrum shows how divided people are on Trump's presidency, he said.

"I'm sad. I'm flat out sad by it that I had to make this decision," he said. "But it was the right decision to make for the interests of everyone involved."

McAllister hopes taking the year off from hosting the triathlon will allow tensions to ease, and he intends to bring the race back in 2018.