It may be a new year, but President Donald Trump is up to his same old stunts.
Once again, he’s attacking NFL players who choose to kneel for the national anthem. On Thursday morning — just two days before the start of the playoffs — Trump took to Twitter to slam the athletes’ peaceful protest against racial injustice and police brutality.
What makes this most recent tweet particularly troubling is that it included an image of a woman and a child on the ground next to the grave of a fallen soldier, presumably alluding to the great sacrifice our military members and their families make for our country.
"So beautiful," Trump wrote to accompany the image. "Show this picture to the NFL players who still kneel!"
So beautiful....Show this picture to the NFL players who still kneel! https://t.co/tJLM1tvbvb— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2018
With this message, Trump is exploiting a mourning family’s intimate moment and juxtaposing two situations that have nothing to do with each other.
The national anthem protests are not about the military, but Trump continues to push this false narrative as he refuses to admit or address the racial inequality plaguing the United States. As a neo-Nazi sympathizer, it serves him better to simply perpetuate it.
Sadly, this is not the first time Trump has politicized a veteran’s death in his feud with the NFL. He caused a similar uproar when he retweeted a photo of former NFL player Pat Tillman, who joined the U.S. Army Rangers after 9/11, but was killed in friendly fire more than a decade ago.
The photo was captioned, “NFL player Pat Tillman joined U.S. Army in 2002. He was killed in action 2004. He fought 4 our country/freedom. #StandForOurAnthem #BoycottNFL.”
Trump didn’t write the caption or initially post the picture, but his retweet very clearly indicates he supports the message and the politicizing of Tillman’s death as a means of shaming the NFL protesters.
These are not the actions of a president but are more befitting of a petty and vengeful being who thrives off drama, turmoil, and hate. He may be our leader (for now), but he is certainly not a reflection of the heart of America.
Banner / Thumbnail : REUTERS, Kevin Lamarque