Trump Uses Pat Tillman’s Memory To Smear NFL Players

President Donald Trump, a three-time draft dodger during the Vietnam War, invoked the memory of the late Pat Tillman, who played football for the Arizona Cardinals and was killed by friendly fire while serving in Afghanistan in 2004.

For years, the Bush administration repeatedly lied and claimed Tillman had been killed by the enemy.

Using Twitter, Trump first tried to distance himself from the many accusations that he is a racist because he wants players fired for kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police brutality against black people:

When that failed to work, Trump retweeted a photo by user @jayMAGA45 of Tillman:

ThinkProgress notes that Tillman is often co-opted by right wingers trying to use his memory as a weapon against NFL players who peacefully protest by taking a knee during the National Anthem.

However, troops who served with Tillman said he strongly opposed former U.S. president George W. Bush and called Bush’s war “so f*cking illegal,” noted ThinkProgress.

Tillman reportedly corresponded with progressive icon Noam Chomsky and was an atheist, far from the caricature that Trump and conservatives have painted.

Tillman’s widow, Marie Tillman, recalled her husband in a Facebook posting in January in which she slammed Trump’s first Muslim immigration ban:

In 2002 my husband enlisted in the US Army, he stood up to serve because he believed in the principles on which our country was founded and, recognizing it wasn’t perfect, was passionate about what it could be. Today I am deeply saddened by the news of the executive order banning immigration.

This is not the country he dreamed of, not what he served for and not what he died for. Since his death I have embarked on the most meaningful work of my life, supporting the men and women who, like Pat, fight for what this country can be.

As I read posts from the community of #Tillman Scholars on my Facebook feed I am encouraged; they are exactly as I knew they would be, poised and ready to fight. I am proud of them and proud to stand with them, we’ve got this.

(Sources: Donald Trump/Twitter, Donald Trump/Twitter, Jay/Twitter, ThinkProgress Marie Tillman/Facebook)

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