Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons recently sat down with President Obama to discuss sports-related topics. Simmons asked if people would ‘defend’ the President while playing sports, specifically when it came to the game of golf. Obama dismissed the notion and declared he was ‘proud’ that he doesn’t ‘cheat’ when playing golf.
BS: Have you noticed that there is a notable difference in the way people defend you, since you became the president, when you’re playing?
Obama: No, because I’m always getting knocked around. I don’t know what people are talking about. Reggie Love, my former aide who played at Duke and he’s now getting his MBA, he answered anybody who said that people took it easy on me when they played with me. He said, nobody takes it easy on Obama because if he beats them, they won’t hear the end of it. [Laughter.] And it’s true. I will talk about folks just to make sure that they don’t take it easy on me.
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BS: What about when you’re playing golf? Do you get more four-foot putts given to you than maybe you did before?
Obama: I don’t take them.
BS: You don’t take them?
Obama: I am very proud of the fact I do not cheat when I’m playing golf. Anybody who plays with me, they’ll say I count my strokes. I count my strokes. I don’t — I’m not getting five-foot gimme putts.
BS: I guess you have to play it that way because then people could be, “I played with Obama” —
Obama: And he cheated.
Simmons: Yes, I saw him kick the ball out of the rough or something. [Laughter.]