This morning, Donald Trump retweeted a meme featuring Pat Tillman, the former NFL star and veteran who died via “friendly fire.”
Trump presumably did this to show the patriotism of a football player who didn’t kneel, but you won’t be surprised to learn Tillman almost certainly wouldn’t have supported this president’s policies.
Tillman was a proud atheist. Earlier this year, his widow Marie, who now runs the Pat Tillman Foundation, penned a Facebook message denouncing Trump‘s executive order banning refugees from Muslim-majority nations. She wrote of Tillman, “This is not the country he dreamed of, not what he served for and not what he died for.”
You would think someone with Tillman’s courage and not-merely-symbolic patriotism would fully support the actions of the athletes who took a knee in protest of police brutality, systemic racism, and a president who doesn’t give a damn about any of that.
ThinkProgress’ Rebekah Entralgo adds that “Those who served with Tillman in Iraq and Afghanistan say he was vehemently against former U.S. president George W. Bush and called the war ‘so fucking illegal.'”
Tillman’s politics were not Trump’s politics. Tillman died for this country because he believed in what it stood for, including freedom of speech and the right to peacefully protest.
Trump disgraces his memory by using Tillman’s name and likeness to advance an agenda of discord and bigotry.
(Portions of this article were published earlier)