Kathy Griffin Deletes Tweet Aimed At The Controversial MAGA Hat Kids From Viral Video
Following an incident involving a Native American elder in Washington DC this weekend, a group of teenage boys from Covington Catholic High School have become the subject of mass social media discussion. Thousands of people, including President Donald Trump, have tweeted about the matter, with some condemning and others excusing the actions of the MAGA hat-wearing group.
As well as sharing videos of the incident in question, some social media users have also dug up pictures and clips of the Covington boys on other occasions - one of which some thought showed individuals throwing up the far right/white power sign at a basketball game.
Kathy Griffin (who famously tweeted a picture of herself holding a decapitated Trump head in 2017) was one of multiple people to share this picture, captioning it: "Covington’s finest throwing up the new nazi sign."
What Griffin was not aware of, however, is that this hand gesture is frequently used in basketball to celebrate scoring a three-pointer. In response to later finding this out, the comedian took the post down, telling Page Six: "MSNBC’s Chris Hayes was kind enough to reply and correct me, so I deleted the tweet."
While there may be an innocent explanation for this picture, other media showing the school's behaviour casts doubt on their claims that they were not deliberately trying to antagonise Nathan Phillips, the Native American elder, this weekend.
This picture, for example, shows at least four boys in blackface at a basketball game against a team with a black player:
This video shows some members of the group harassing girls on the day of the rally this weekend:
And, in this clip, Phillips claims that he heard the boys chanting xenophobic statements while he was marching:
Nick Sandmann, the boy pictured mostly widely and in various videos, has since released a statement on what he claims happened this weekend.
"I never interacted with this protestor," he said. "I did not speak to him. I did not make any hand gestures or other aggressive moves. To be honest, I was startled and confused as to why he had approached me. We had already been yelled at by another group of protestors, and when the second group approached I was worried that a situation was getting out of control where adults were attempting to provoke teenagers.
"I believed that by remaining motionless and calm, I was helping to diffuse the situation. I realized everyone had cameras and that perhaps a group of adults was trying to provoke a group of teenagers into a larger conflict. I said a silent prayer that the situation would not get out of hand."
Meanwhile, Trump has brushed off the whole incident has "fake news":
Phillips, on the other hand, says he felt threatened by the group.
"I was standing there and I seen that group of people in front of me and I seen the angry faces and all of that, I realized I had put myself in a really dangerous situation," he said. "Here's a group of people who were angry at somebody else and I put myself in front of that, and all of a sudden, I'm the one whose all that anger and all that wanting to have the freedom to just rip me apart, that was scary. And I'm a Vietnam veteran and I know that mentality of 'There's enough of us. We can do this.'"
The debate on social media continues.