FACT CHECK: Did Lou Holtz Make This Statement About ‘Two Americas’?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

An image shared on Facebook attributes a statement about “two Americas” to former college football coach Lou Holtz.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence Holtz authored the statement in the post. It originated from a column written by Bob Lonsberry in 2013.

Fact Check:

The statement attributed to Holtz, who was the head football coach at the University of Notre Dame from 1986 to 1996 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008, has circulated on Facebook this month. President Donald Trump awarded Holtz the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Dec. 4, according to ESPN.

“The Democrats are right, there are two Americas,” the post credits Holtz with saying. “The America that works and the America that doesn’t. The America that contributes and the America that doesn’t. It’s not the haves and the have nots, it’s the dos and the don’ts. Some people do their duty as Americans, obey the law, support themselves, contribute to society and others don’t. That’s the divide in America.”

The statement goes on to say that “it’s not about income inequality, it’s about civic irresponsibility” and talks about a political party that allegedly “preaches hatred, greed and victimization in order to win elective office” and “loves power more than it loves its country.” Iterations of the quote often feature the phrase “Lou Holtz Nails It!”

There is, however, no evidence Holtz authored the statement attributed to him in the Facebook post. Check Your Fact didn’t find any major media outlets attributing the quote to the former college football coach. It also doesn’t appear on his verified Twitter account. (RELATED: Did Donald Trump Tweet, ‘America Is Now Great Do To My Sacrifices’?)

The statement comes from a column written by Lonsberry. It was published on his website, where a line indicates it was written in December 2013. He published the “Two Americas” essay after then-President Barack Obama on Dec. 4, 2013 delivered remarks in which, according to the White House transcript, he discussed a “dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility” in America.

Portions of the column have been erroneously attributed to Holtz over the years. Lonsberry confirmed to Snopes he wrote the column.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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