Twitter, on the night of Tuesday 22nd June 2020 was ablaze after Redskins defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio put in public a statement giving a hint on his political preference. The entire football fraternity has been in the cross-roads with Trump after most football players openly continue to hold peaceful protests by kneeling when the national anthem is on during football games. These protests have been going on for several weeks due to the unlawful killings of black Americans by racist police officers in the U.S. Protesters have been demonstrating against Trump’s administration and have in the past blamed Trump for not paying keen attention to their concerns. Trump has openly condemned such protests claiming that they are politically fueled and funded by his opponents in the forthcoming U.S elections.
The open tweet by Jack Del Rio shows his political leaning in regards to which side he is on. The entire football fraternity seems to be in support of the kneeling during football games in solidarity with the ‘Black Lives matter’ campaign. Trump on the other hand has a different opinion on this. There are two different sides, either you are on the president’s side or stand with the decision made by the fraternity. Jack’s tweet therefore show that he is on Trump’s side. He first retweeted what was confirmed to be a doctored post coming from the twitter page belonging to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, with a caption reading “Wow?!!Proof…c’mon AOC.” He quickly followed this with a second tweet revealing his full support for President Donald Trump and how he is in support of the country’s administration. The tweet also has a section informing those not in support of Trump’s administration to piss off. The tweet reads, “I’m 100% for America, if you’re not you can kiss my A$$.” The tweet has garnered over 54.4K likes and has been retweeted close to 16.2K times.
These tweets have been made several days after Trump declared that he was to boycott football if the players continued carrying out such an action. The boycott is due to a decision made by football players to kneel when the national anthem was on, a sign of a peaceful protest for police brutality against African Americans. Adrian Peterson, a popular football player in the U.S, alongside other players made the decision to uphold the boycott. Players from all divide have been having moments of kneeling down since most sports matches resumed after the long Corona break.
The kneeling-down habit is not only experienced in U.S.A but also in Europe’s major leagues which resumed recently. The popular U.K based English Premier League had its starting matches characterized by players taking a moment before and after the game in support of the Black Lives Matter protests. Players from leagues in Spain, Italy and Germany also took the same course and wore shirts with the writing ‘Black Lives Matter’ at the back. Players in the U.S seem to be following a trend that was already set across the Europe. However, in a different statement, the Redskins team’s head coach Ron Rivera maintained that he would be fully supportive of his players if they decided to kneel. The team refused to make comments on Del Rio’s tweets choosing to remain neutral in this saga. This decision by the team makes Del Rio’s tweet a solo act and his own personal opinion, not that of the team.