President-elect Donald Trump, capping off a week of rallies and Cabinet pick rumors, attended the annual Army-Navy football game Saturday, and while protesters continued to attack him outside M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, the Republican was met with a standing ovation inside the arena.
Trump is probably the first president-elect to attend the game, one of the oldest rivalries in American sports, according to the Washington Post, but nine different presidents have attended the game while in office. Per tradition, he will spend half the game on the Army side of the field before switching over to the Navy side, according to The Hill.
Outside the stadium Saturday, a group of nearly 200 people protested Trump for his campaign rhetoric and the support of white nationalists for his candidacy, according to the Baltimore Sun. Protesters chanted several slogans that have been commonplace at rallies against the president-elect, including “No hate. No fear. Immigrants are welcome here.” and “We reject the president-elect.”
Inside, however, Trump had a decidedly warmer welcome, as fans, midshipmen and cadets all rose in a standing ovation, according to social media reports.
Following halftime, Trump gave an interview on the live television broadcast with CBS’s Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson. In the interview, Trump joked about appointing Lundquist as ambassador to Sweden, commented on the surprising score (Army led Navy at the time despite being underdogs entering the game) and said he was “completely neutral” as to the outcome of the game.
“I don't know if it's necessarily the best football, but it's very good,” Trump said of the game. “But boy do they have spirit.”
Navy is currently ranked 25th in the nation with a 9-3 record entering Saturday. Army is 6-5 entering Saturday and will play in its first bowl game since 2010 on Dec. 27.