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Ellen DeGeneres defends sitting next to George W. Bush at NFL game

"When I say be kind to one another, I don’t mean only the people that think the same way you do," the talk show host said.
/ Source: TODAY

Ellen DeGeneres is speaking out after controversy erupted when she was spotted sitting next to former President George W. Bush at this past weekend’s Dallas Cowboys game against the Green Bay Packers.

Simultaneously keeping things light while also discussing the matter on Tuesday’s episode of her talk show, the comedian explained how she wound up in the suite next to Bush, noting she was invited to the game by Charlotte Jones, the daughter of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

“We went because we wanted to keep up with the Joneses,” she said, drawing laughs.

DeGeneres, 61, then shared a video she took while at the game, scanning the crowd while capturing wife, Portia DeRossi, before settling on a smiling Bush and his wife, Laura.

“When we were invited, I was aware I was gonna be surrounded by people from very different views and beliefs and I’m not talking politics. I was rooting for the Packers and — get this — everyone in the Cowboys suite was rooting for the Cowboys,” DeGeneres said while mentioning that she’s friends with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

“During the game, they showed a shot of George and me laughing together, so people were upset. They thought, 'Why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?' Didn’t even notice I’m holding the brand new iPhone 11,” she quipped.

Noting that people tweeted their displeasure at the sight, DeGeneres turned serious by explaining her decision to sit with the former president.

“Here’s the thing: I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that we’re all different. For instance, I wish people wouldn’t wear fur. I don’t like it, but I’m friends with people who wear fur and I’m friends with people who are furry, as a matter of fact,” she said, adding a touch of levity to the matter.

“But just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean I’m not gonna be friends with them," DeGeneres continued. "When I say be kind to one another, I don’t mean only the people that think the same way you do. I mean be kind to everyone. It doesn’t matter."