Donald Trump accused of hypocrisy after video shows him appearing to forget national anthem
One of the major news stories in the United States in 2017 was the NFL protests, wherein players have been "taking a knee" during the national anthem. It first began with Colin Kaepernick, the successful (but now much-maligned) player, who kneeled during the national anthem to make a powerful statement about racial inequality.
The player said that he could not respect a country where black people were treated as second-classed citizens and were often on the receiving end of police brutality - with numerous instances where abuses of the law were not given their due justice. Kaepernick eventually left the San Francisco 49ers in March that year and is yet to be signed by another team. However, his message spread quickly, with many other players in the sport taking a knee at their games.
The protests didn't go down well with plenty of Americans, with many seeing the act as unpatriotic, regardless of how its intention is focused on the betterment of the country. Country singer Neal McCoy even released a song in opposition to these protests, whose unfortunate title drew the ire of the entire internet in November.
Donald Trump has been extremely vocal in regards to these events, instructing NFL coaches to fire any man who joins in on the peaceful protest, and has spent months condemning the protestors for "disrespecting" war veterans through the pre-kick-off kneeling. However, now some recent footage has shown the U.S. president seemingly not knowing the words to national anthem himself.
He was making an appearance at the College Football Playoff National Championship Game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide. TV coverage at the Atlanta game caught Trump as he appeared to take long pauses during the Star-Spangled Banner. While some have mocked the moment, critics have called this a "gross display of hypocrisy".
He begins well enough, managing "oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light...proudly we hailed," but then his words become less clear, before he stops altogether. Only hours before the event, during a speech in Nashville, Tennessee, he reiterated that "We want our flag respected - and we want our NATIONAL ANTHEM respected also!"
One critic wrote that it was "disgraceful for any president", while many others made reference to his earlier comments on Twitter, in which he referred to himself as a "stable genius".
In a series of tweets posted earlier this month, he wrote that his "two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart". He also went on to talk about "Crooked Hillary Clinton", before stating that "I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius... and a very stable genius at that!"
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