Image makes a mockery of Trump
American President Donald Trump has been called out for his double standards as protests rage around America in the wake of George Floyd's death.
Floyd, a black man, died when a white police officer pressed his knee onto his neck in Minneapolis as the 46-year-old complained he couldn't breathe.
Police cars and precincts have been set on fire in recent days as anti-racism protests have turned into violent riots across the US.
Trump has condemned those turning to violence and at a business roundtable event on Saturday, advocated the importance of peaceful protests.
"It's very important that we have peaceful protesters and support the rights for peaceful protesters," Trump said. "We can't allow a situation like what happened in Minneapolis to descend further into lawless anarchy and chaos, and we understand that very well.
"The looters should not be allowed to drown out the voices of so many peaceful protesters."
However, Trump has come under fire for that stance as critics point out he was vocally opposed to the peaceful protests being conducted by NFL players wanting to draw attention to racial injustice in the US.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick became the face of the movement when he first took a knee during the national anthem before a game in 2016, sparking a wave of similar protests from his fellow players.
Trump lashed out at football stars refusing to stand for the anthem, calling them "disgraceful" and saying anyone who took a knee was a "son of a b****".
The President said owners of NFL teams should fire players who protested and in 2018 added: "You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there, maybe you shouldn't be in the country."
Trump was asked yesterday if his views on the NFL protests have changed, but he didn't answer the question.
His support of peaceful protests in one instance but not another didn't go unnoticed.
trump talking about how he supports peaceful protests is outrageous because he spent a whole year asking kaepernick to stay fired from the nfl for doing exactly that. never forget, it's not HOW people are protesting, it's WHO'S protesting and WHAT they're prostesting that offends— hasanabi (@hasanthehun) May 30, 2020
After saying he supports peaceful protests, Pres Trump was asked several times if he now feels differently about NFL players kneeling to protest police brutality following the deaths of George Floyd and other African-Americans by police. He never directly answered that question— Sara Cook (@saraecook) May 29, 2020
I can’t stop seeing a split-screen image, Colin Kaepernick taking a knee to protest racist policing on one side, a white cop casually choking a black guy to death with his knee on the other. President Trump voiced outrage at Colin, barely commented on the conduct of the cop.— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) May 29, 2020
Thank you @PabloTorre for the perfect text. In 2017 Trump called kneeling NFL players who peacefully protested police brutality ‘sons of bitches.’ Last night he called Minneapolis protesters ‘thugs.’ This is why racists shouldn’t be allowed to be president. https://t.co/klcg8TeCDK— Steve Kerr (@SteveKerr) May 29, 2020
American Vice President Mike Pence was also criticised after he wrote on Twitter: "We condemn violence against property or persons. We will always stand for the right of Americans to peacefully protest and let their voices be heard."
Many on social media were keen to remind Pence he walked out of an NFL game between the 49ers and Indianapolis Colts in 2017 because he was offended by players kneeling during the national anthem.
At the time, Trump tweeted: "I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players knelt, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him."
You were singing a different tune when you rejected our peaceful protest at the 49’ers vs Colts game, wasting tax payers’ money to stage your publicity stunt. https://t.co/iGSpjFSnZD— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) May 30, 2020
Trump has found some support in his suggestion military intervention may be needed to quell violent protesters. Fox News anchor Sean Hannity warned of "radical rioters exploiting this death of Mr Floyd, committing crimes, justifying crimes, threatening more violence", while fellow conservative TV host Tucker Carlson referred to protesters in Minneapolis as "criminal mobs".
Republican Senator John Kennedy supported Trump denouncing violence, saying "the people who are trying to burn down Minneapolis should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law".
SPORTS WORLD REACTS TO GEORGE FLOYD'S DEATH
Many in the sports world have voiced their outrage and despair about Floyd's death.
Kaepernick and his not-for-profit organisation Know Your Rights Camp have started a program to fund legal costs for protesters in Minneapolis who are arrested.
When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction.— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) May 28, 2020
The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance.
We have the right to fight back!
Rest in Power George Floyd
NBA icons such as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have weighed in, as has Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, while NFL star Carson Wentz wrote an emotional note.
"All I know is that the institutional racism in this country breaks my heart and it needs to stop," he said. "Can't even fathom what the black community has to endure on a daily basis.
"I don't understand the society we live in that doesn't value all human life. It's heartbreaking and disturbing."
JUSTICE WILL NOT BE SERVED UNTIL THOSE UNAFFECTED ARE AS OUTRAGED AS THOSE WHO ARE‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️— DWade (@DwyaneWade) May 27, 2020
'How do we deal with a person whose core impulse in every part of his life is to deny,deceive,deflect,disparage, and double-down every time he is challenged? And what precisely is the danger such a person poses if he also happens to be the leader of the free world?' Tony Schwartz— Steve Kerr (@SteveKerr) May 30, 2020
Former NBA star turned analyst Jalen Rose delivered an impassioned speech on TV as he called on all Americans to unite to combat racism.
"I wish American people loved black people as much as they love black culture," he said. "There's so many times that it gets cherrypicked and it gets piggybacked but only when it's convenient.
"Sometimes it happens in entertainment and athletics. We're not here designed only to entertain. We're actually living and breathing human beings."
Originally published as Image makes a mockery of Trump