News

Was Trump's Sneaker Con Appearance Met by Boos and 'Let's Go Biden' Chants?

The progressive network Meidas Touch posted on YouTube, "Trump Gets MERCILESSLY BOOED at Philadelphia 'Sneaker Con.'"

Published Feb. 25, 2024

Former U.S. President Donald Trump takes the stage to introduce a new line of signature shoes at Sneaker Con at the Philadelphia Convention Center on Feb. 17, 2024, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Image Via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In February 2024, former U.S. President Donald Trump appeared in front of an enthusiastic crowd at a sneaker convention known as Sneaker Con. The Feb. 17 event took place at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Pennsylvania.

Upon arriving, Trump carried up to a lectern a pair of shiny gold high tops with an American flag detail on the back. The newly announced, Trump-inspired shoes were named "Never Surrender High-Tops" and cost $399, according to The Associated Press, which also noted that his convention-hall appearance to "hawk" the shoes came just one day after a New York judge announced a $355 million ruling against him in his civil fraud trial.

Two of the rumors that came out of Trump's appearance were that the crowd booed him and that they joined together to chant "Let's Go Biden!" While the rumor of the booing requires some further explanation, the claim about the chant was false. Some members of the crowd yelled the familiar Trump rally chant of "F--- Joe Biden!" — not "Let's Go Biden!" — as a way of showing support for the former president.

Instead of applying a single fact-check rating to collectively rate two different claims — one that appears to be surrounded by misleading posts that are short on evidence and another that's false — we have instead laid out all of the facts in the story below.

Examples of the 'Trump Booed' Claim

Following Trump's appearance at the convention hall, the progressive network Meidas Touch posted (archived) on YouTube, "Trump Gets MERCILESSLY BOOED at Philadelphia 'Sneaker Con.'" The video had been viewed more than 1.2 million times.

Popular TikTok user @harryjsisson said in a video (archived) with nearly 800,000 views that Trump had been "badly booed."

MSNBC also highlighted the Sneaker Con booing in a TikTok video, both in the video's caption and at the end of the clip.

On X, user @Mr_Webcast (archived) claimed that Trump was "relentlessly booed" and said he left the stage "after 60 seconds of a planned 45 minute speech." Meanwhile, user @TristanSnell (archived) posted, "Trump booed offstage at SneakerCon, quits in a huff after 1 minute — of a planned 60 minute speech."

But rumors about whether a politician was booed at a gathering often appear to be promoted by people who fail to gather a wealth of data before coming to their own partisan-influenced and validation-seeking conclusions.

These popular posts and videos claimed that Trump had been "mercilessly," "badly" and "relentlessly" booed. These are all subjective terms, and it is a stretch to use such language to describe what was apparently a brief few seconds of booing where the target of the boos was unclear. Several people could be heard shouting from the crowd — some positively and others unclear — and it's possible that one or more people were being booed while they were trying to heckle the former president.

To be clear, it was false to say that Trump left the stage after 60 seconds. Trump spoke to the crowd for just over five minutes. He was present in the convention-hall room for just over 14 minutes. Further, we found no evidence that he had planned to give a 45- or 60-minute speech, as some users claimed.

Was Trump Booed at Sneaker Con?

Right-Side Broadcasting Network on YouTube provided a live video of Trump's remarks at Sneaker Con. At the 1:30:05 mark in the YouTube video, just as some feedback noises could be heard coming from the sound system in the room, Trump said to the attendees, "Hello everybody. So, thank you very much. And we have a few young ladies that are up here crying. Look at you with the Trump 2024. Thank you, darling."

One woman near the front of the crowd responded positively to Trump in a high-pitched voice. Trump responded, "I love you too. Wow. Lot of emotion. There's a lot of emotion in this room."

It was at this point that a few seconds of apparent booing could be heard from what seemed to be a small number of people in the crowd. That was followed by the audio system again producing feedback, which seemed similar to the sounds of booing.

Again, due to a lack of evidence, it's unclear whether the brief sounds of some apparent booing were intended for Trump or were directed toward one or more attendees who were shouting at the former president, as one user on X also wondered (archived). (This user did not provide evidence that it was not Trump who was being booed.)

Fact: Crowd Chanted 'We Want Trump' Before Arrival

Snopes searched for other video clips from Sneaker Con to gather more understanding of whether the crowd was supportive of Trump's appearance. After all, such an understanding would drive at the heart of what users were claiming in their posts: that Trump was not welcome at the convention.

The videos Snopes reviewed appeared to show that the crowd was largely supportive of — not opposed to — the former president's appearance.

At least two videos showed what appeared to be many of the attendees chanting "We Want Trump!" before his arrival. The users who posted about booing did not share these clips with their followers.

Fact: Crowd Chanted 'USA!' After Trump's Speech

After Trump was finished making his brief comments — which included him urging young people to vote in the November election — he was met with a raucous chant of "USA!" Like the "We Want Trump!" chant, the chant of "USA!" was not shared by the users who posted about the boos.

Other videos displayed supportive convention attendees greeting Trump after his speech, where he signed some of their shoes. Some photos published to the Getty Images website showed members of the crowd with "Make America Great Again" hats and at least one shirt with the words "Joe Biden Sucks."

Further, Snopes found videos from positive-minded TikTok users who were at the convention and posted more details about the Trump-inspired shoes.

The Crowd Did Not Chant 'Let's Go Biden!'

As for the claim about the "Let's Go Biden!" chant, one of the most popular posts on X that promoted the false rumor read, "Omg I f---ing loooove this. Trump is booed as the crowd chants 'let's go Biden.' These young folks are too smart to fall for his s---."

However, again, there's no evidence that the crowd chanted in support of Biden. The crowd chanted "F--- Joe Biden!" and one of the attendees seen chanting in this video clip was one of many people in the crowd who were holding up signs that read "Sneakerheads Love Trump."

For further reading, Snopes previously reported about the origins of the anti-Biden phrase "Let's Go Brandon!"

Sources

@americafirst617. "WE WANT TRUMP CHANT BREAKS OUT AT SNEAKER CON IN PHILLY!" TikTok, 17 Feb. 2024, https://www.tiktok.com/@americafirst617/video/7336685144285416750.

@Axel. "Trump Is out at Sneaker Con Signing People's Shoes." TikTok, 17 Feb. 2024, https://www.tiktok.com/@Axel./video/7336698735902182698.

@beaver_punch. "Don't Believe the Media He Wasn't Boo'ed at Sneaker Con in Philly." TikTok, 17 Feb. 2024, https://www.tiktok.com/@beaver_punch/video/7336953809274506539.

@jaysse_lopez. "Donald Trump Sneaker Unboxing!" TikTok, 17 Feb. 2024, https://www.tiktok.com/@jaysse_lopez/video/7336717060447210794.

Lauer, Claudia, and Jill Colvin. "Trump Hawks $399 Branded Shoes at 'Sneaker Con,' a Day after a $355 Million Ruling against Him." The Associated Press, 17 Feb. 2024, https://apnews.com/article/trump-sneakers-sneaker-con-philadelphia-4de093eda6f8d1c68baf8fe8095f777b.

"LIVE REPLAY: PRESIDENT TRUMP GIVES SPEECH AT SNEAKER CON IN PHILADELPHIA – 2/17/24." YouTube, Right Side Broadcasting Network, 17 Feb. 2024, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUt57tv-DRk.

@MSNBC. "Donald Trump announced his new line of sneakers yesterday — to a booing crowd at Sneaker Con yesterday." TikTok, 17 Feb. 2024, https://www.tiktok.com/@msnbc/video/7337052394179546410.

"Sneaker Con Philadelphia - February 17, 2024." Sneaker Con, https://sneakercon.com/event/sneaker-con-philadelphia-february-17-2024/.

@soleloco. "First Look at Trumps First Shoe." TikTok, 17 Feb. 2024, https://www.tiktok.com/@soleloco/video/7336685032209255722.

---. "Trump Pulled up to Sneaker Con." TikTok, 17 Feb. 2024, https://www.tiktok.com/@soleloco/video/7336749488222113067.

Somodevilla, Chip. "Republican Presidential Candidate and Former President Donald Trump..." Getty Images, 17 Feb. 2024, https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/republican-presidential-candidate-and-former-president-news-photo/2018512012.

---. "Supporters and Attendees Listen to Republican Presidential Candidate..." Getty Images, 17 Feb. 2024, https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/supporters-and-attendees-listen-to-republican-presidential-news-photo/2018531692.

Snopes Staff. "'Let's Go Brandon': A Collection of Stories." Snopes, 2 Nov. 2021, https://www.snopes.com//collections/lets-go-brandon/.

@swaggyomar. "Omfg." TikTok, 17 Feb. 2024, https://www.tiktok.com/@swaggyomar/video/7336684450727660842.

@ttbanned1980. TikTok, 17 Feb. 2024, https://www.tiktok.com/@ttbanned1980/video/7336696699798228270.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.