Basketball legend Bill Russell pushed back against President Donald Trump’s critique of the national anthem protest with a tweet of himself kneeling along with some choice words.
Russell was responding to Trump’s recent comments on the protest that was kicked off by Colin Kaepernick when football players throughout the NFL took a knee as the anthem was being played as a way of bringing attention to police brutality.
According to the former Boston Celtics player, the president’s disrespect is not part of the American spirit and more aptly fitted to divide the country than bring it together.
#Trump you projected your narrative that #TakingAKnee is disrespectful & #UnAmerican it was never about that! You are divisive & a coward. It takes true courage 2 stand 4 what is right & risk your life in the midst of a #pandemic #Proud2kneel #BlackLivesMatter @MSNBC @BostonGlobe https://t.co/nhNITHSrxo pic.twitter.com/h0PuUYVFwu— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) June 7, 2020
Trump’s tweet was sparked by New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees, who told ESPN just days ago that he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America.”
“I love and respect my teammates, and I stand right there with them in regard to fighting for racial equality and justice. I also stand with my grandfathers, who risked their lives for this country, and countless other military men and women who do it on a daily basis.”
Only a few days after his words were printed, Brees walked back his comments in an Instagram post pointed directly at Trump, saying that after extensive conversations with those in the black community and friends whose opinions he trusts, he now feels “this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been.”
“We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities.”
Trump responded to Brees’ retraction about his issue with the anthem protest, saying what a fan he was of the football player but that he was sorry to see him take back his earlier patriotic comments.
I am a big fan of Drew Brees. I think he’s truly one of the greatest quarterbacks, but he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag. OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2020
The tweets opened old wounds with those who felt the protest was not only justified but necessary to promote equality.
Russell is far from the only high profile figure to speak out against the president in recent days as racial turmoil in the nation has risen. Protests and riots have plagued the nation since the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man who died in police custody on Memorial Day.
Pop icon Pink called the president “an insult to humanity” in a tweet as The Inquisitr recently reported. The singer called out Trump supporters, saying that they are likely dwindling down to nothing as they watch the president’s actions ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Pink also called the Trump fans who unfollowed her “racist” and wished them good riddance.