President Donald Trump held a "Celebration of America" ceremony at the White House on Tuesday after disinviting the Philadelphia Eagles from what was supposed to be a Super Bowl Victory party.
As Trump described the event on Twitter:
We will proudly be playing the National Anthem and other wonderful music celebrating our Country today at 3 P.M., T… https://t.co/frLsQzTjpP— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1528196914.0
Trump had canceled the event with the Philadelphia Eagles after many members of the team refused to attend, claiming that the Eagles were disinvited because of violating the NFL's new anthem policy.
The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players… https://t.co/umtKEd0dru— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1528167356.0
Although it was later reported that no member of the Eagles had ever kneeled or stayed in the locker room for the national anthem at any of their games.
So, one attendee at yesterday's 'celebration' decided to send Trump a message by taking a knee while the national anthem was being played.
A man takes a knee during Trump’s celebration. https://t.co/zghJSk2YOu— Carina Bergfeldt (@Carina Bergfeldt) 1528227013.0
The moment was captured by a Danish TV anchor, Jesper Zolck, who said the man "didn't want to talk."
At The White House. One guy in the audience took a knee during the national anthem at President Trumps celebration… https://t.co/snxuWD7MmG— Jesper Zølck (@Jesper Zølck) 1528225934.0
Zolck said the man "wouldn't answer" why he took a knee and that he refused to comment further. The man "didn't want to give his name either," Zolck reported.
@gallagherfergal Hi Fergal. Yes, you can use the photo with my credits: Jesper Zølck, TV 2 Denmark. And to be clear… https://t.co/Iu1PYAjNIk— Jesper Zølck (@Jesper Zølck) 1528230446.0
Twitter flooded with reactions, praising the anonymous protester who brought the fight quite literally into Trump's backyard.
"This is what courage looks like," one user wrote.
@carinabergfeldt Freedom of expression and speech in the midst of tyranny, conformity, and corruption: this is what… https://t.co/QXaOSTC6o7— Emme (@Emme) 1528227783.0
Another follower said "suppressing free speech," which in the case refers to not allowing NFL players to take a knee to protest police brutality, "shows disrespect to the office of the presidency."
@edhauser4 @Emme99me @carinabergfeldt Suppression of free speech shows disrespect to the office of the presidency. #UnfitToBePresident— Alisande DeMerovence (@Alisande DeMerovence) 1528228407.0
And that Trump has shown nothing but disrespect toward the office he now holds.
@AlisandeDM @edhauser4 @Emme99me @carinabergfeldt No one has shown more disrespect to the office of the Presidency than Trump.— Brit (@Brit) 1528228554.0
Someone even noticed a parallel to when a man named August Landmesser refused to give a Nazi salute in Germany during World War II. The connection? Standing up to the oppression of free thought.
One man quipped that Trump probably wouldn't have a problem with the gentleman who took a knee at the White House, because the man is white.
@carinabergfeldt Won’t get a reaction from the White House cause he’s not a person of a different skin color.— Sharing Stories of Homophobia (@Sharing Stories of Homophobia) 1528229054.0
In an ironic twist, during the event, demonstrating his unbridled sense of patriotism, Trump forgot the words to "God Bless America."
Trump unable to remember words to "God Bless America" at replacement event he commissioned to prove his patriotism:… https://t.co/NO9VqNeLA9— Deadspin (@Deadspin) 1528226451.0