IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Athletes and Coaches to Donald Trump: Sexual Assault Is Not 'Locker Room Talk'

The consensus of opinion appears to be reflected in a statement Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers made to TMZ: "That's a new locker room for me."
Image: Donald Trump
The countdown clock shows that Trump is out of time during a response to a question during the town hall debate.RICK WILKING / AFP - Getty Images

Most "locker room" guys don't talk like that.

Donald Trump during Sunday night's second presidential debate used the term "locker room talk" to defend 2005 remarks he made about making unwanted advances on women — an excuse that didn't satisfy many skeptics, with several professional athletes, coaches and other celebrities condemning the implication.

Related: Poll: More Voters Say Trump Doesn't Respect Women After Lewd Tape Surfaces

Trump on Friday used a variation on the phrase in his first public statement on the leaked video, in which he said it was "locker room banter" and added, "I apologize if anyone was offended."

After that statement failed to prevent a series of high profile GOP defections from his campaign, Trump released a second statement, this time on video:

The real estate mogul abandoned the "locker room" defense in that public apology, only to resurrect several times again at the presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, repeatedly dismissing moderator Anderson Cooper's questions about whether he had actually committed the acts he was describing (he eventually insisted he hadn't).

The consensus of opinion appears to be reflected in a statement Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers made to TMZ: "That's a new locker room for me."

Meanwhile, some stars seized on the comments from the Republican presidential candidate to mock him.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin riffed on his oft-parodied "heavy breathing" as "locker room-esque" and UFC mixed martial artist CM Punk called the "locker room" statement more of a "Ted Bundy quote," than illustrative of what men actually say behind closed doors.

Related: Poll: After Trump Tape Revelation, Clinton's Lead Up to Double Digits

Still, as far as the National Sexual Violence Resource Center is concerned, there is nothing comical about Trump's attempt to deflect the controversy.

"Recent comments by Donald Trump illustrate what needs to change across our culture in order to end sexual assault and create a society of respect, safety and equality," the NSVRC CEO Delilah Rumburg told NBC News. "Every conversation that conveys disrespectful attitudes or encourages illegal acts, even in private, continues to foster a culture where sexual assault is normalized and puts people at risk."

“'Locker room talk" is not an excuse for unacceptable behavior and is insulting to other men and boys across the country," Rumburg said, adding, "We are encouraged to see many men, including professional athletes, speaking out against this damaging, disrespectful language."

Despite claiming that "no one" respects women more than him, Trump and his company have been accused of mistreating women in at least 20 lawsuits, according to USA Today.

He has also spent much of the 2016 election cycle defending controversial statements and insults he'd made about women in the past, including most recently a former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, who he body shamed while he ran that beauty pageant in the late 1990s.