President Donald Trump and his supporters seem to think taking a knee during the national anthem is some new trend that young millennials worked up because their feelings are hurt over losing the election back in November. However, there has been a history of professional athletes using their status as a means of advocating for change.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder tweeted just that in a tweet addressing the president directly. He tweeted an image of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. kneeling and wrote:
‘Taking a knee is not without precedent Mr. President. Those who dared to protest have helped bring positive change’
Taking a knee is not without precedent Mr. President. Those who dared to protest have helped bring positive change pic.twitter.com/Ik0t1mHaYl
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) September 24, 2017
Holder is correct in his tweet. If you want to look at just professional athletes, there have been plenty of athletes who were ostracized after they took an unpopular stance to an issue. For instance, Muhammed Ali was stripped of his heavyweight title during the Vietnam War after he refused to go. Runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos gave the Black Panther salute after they were presented with the gold and bronze medals during the 1968 Olympics. There are several more examples of athletes throughout history protesting the tyranny that America has imposed upon the black community.
— Robbin Hays-Probus (@rmpd3) September 24, 2017
The tweet above incorrectly states the incident happened in 1972 in Munich. It happened during the 1968 Summer Olympics which were held in Mexico City.
Twitter users replied to Holder’s tweet with mixed tweets. Some, of course, loved it. However, there were others who were obviously Trump supporters who felt that respecting a flag was more important than one’s freedom of speech.
You can check out their replies below.
Featured image by Aaron Bernstein/Getty Images.