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Emmitt Smith withdraws as judge due to Donald Trump controversy

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Former University of Florida and Dallas Cowboy running back Emmitt Smith seems to be as elusive as ever.

This time, he’s running away from the controversy of presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Smith announced he is withdrawing as a judge for the upcoming Miss USA Pageant as a way of distancing himself from Trump’s assertions that Mexican immigrants add to the number of rapists and drug-dealers in this country. Trump is partial owner of the Miss USA Pageant.

The comments have drawn a strong reaction. Co-hosts Cheryl Burke and Thomas Roberts and performer Flo Rida have also announced they will not participate. Macy’s released a statement saying it had ended a business relationship with Trump, although Trump insisted that was his decision.

Smith was set to be a judge of the pageant, where his wife, Pam, was a first runner-up in 1994.

“In light of Mr. Trump’s statements and the subsequent decisions made by NBC, I have decided not to participate as a judge,” Smith wrote on Twitter. “Knowing firsthand through my wife how much the women prepare for this event, I continue to send my support to everyone competing.”

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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