Rory McIlroy: Golf round with Trump 'not an endorsement'

    Rory McIlroy warms up on a practice range in Dubai on November 20, 2016.

    Story highlights

    • Rory McIlroy: "It was, quite simply, a round of golf"
    • To be called a fascist and bigot for playing with Trump is "quite ridiculous," he says

    (CNN)Top flight golfer Rory McIlroy has defended himself against criticism for playing a round of golf with US President Donald Trump, saying it "wasn't an endorsement nor a political statement of any kind."

    In a statement posted on Twitter on Friday, McIlroy said he was invited to play a round of golf with the President last weekend, and that whether or not one respects the person in that position, "you respect the office that he holds."
      His statement follows a backlash on social media from fans angered by his decision to play with Trump.