Celebs, Politicians, Veterans, And Others Showed Solidarity With NFL Players After Trump's "Son Of A Bitch" Comment

Politicians, celebrities, veterans, and families expressed their support by taking a knee for football players' constitutional right to protest.

President Donald Trump comments Friday that football players who protest during the national anthem should be fired, have had a domino effect among critics, with people across the country kneeling — both in real life and online — to show their solidarity.

@leahmcelrath We agreed, as a family, to #TakeAKnee today at noon, wherever we were. Turns out we were in the… https://t.co/VfGn0tdFjG

The whole saga started Friday during a campaign rally in Alabama, when Trump said that NFL owners who have players who "disrespect our flag" should say "'get that son of a bitch off the field right now.'"

Trump was referring to protests begun by former San Francisco 49ers player Colin Kaepernick, who started kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest police treatment of minorities.

As people started expressing their distaste for Trump's comments, the president only dug in deeper, tweeting over the weekend that players who "disrespect" the flag should be fired and telling reporters that the controversy "has nothing to do with race."

If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!

On Sunday, with football games in action all over the US, players and coaches protested by taking a knee, linking arms, and wearing shirts with Kapernick's name on it.

Across the country, others took similar stands of defiance against the president's remarks. During Game 1 of the WNBA Finals on Sunday, the Los Angeles Sparks went to the locker room during the national anthem, while their opponents, the Minnesota Lynx, linked arms.

While the Sparks stayed in locker room, Lynx players on the court with arms interlocked during national anthem.… https://t.co/0gifwnUInc

Before the game, WNBA president Lisa Borders noted that the league's players "are some of the most socially conscious that you will ever find."

"We all have watched television today and our social media feeds and we know this is an interesting time in our country," Borders told reporters during a pregame press conference. "Let me just say our Commissioner, my colleague and my friend Adam Silver put out a statement yesterday and I want you all to know that I personally believe all of us stand in full support with Adam, our big brother – the NBA – and our entire enterprise."

Borders was referring to a statement that Silver, the commissioner of NBA, put out a Saturday after after Golden State Warriors player Stephen Curry said he would not attend visit the White House to celebrate his team's 2017 championship to show solidarity with football players.

Trump responded by rescinding a White House invite to the team. "Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!" he tweeted. Cleveland Cavaliers player LeBron James then tweeted "U bum" at Trump and pointed out that Curry had already said he wasn't going.

Some veterans showed their support by taking to social media with the hashtag #VetsForKaepernick.

I proudly #TakeaKnee w/ @Kaepernick7. Peaceful dissent, action towards social change are the highest forms of patri… https://t.co/w9csTvJYDQ

This was after the president retweeted a tweet Sunday that implied protesters who kneeled or sat during the national anthem were dishonoring veterans.

@realDonaldTrump I wonder what this BRAVE American would give to stand on his OWN two legs just ONCE MORE for our… https://t.co/BmksUHT8Qs

One veteran said she "wore the uniform" to protect the right for Kaepernick and other NFL players to take a knee.

Wore uniform for 4yrs so @Kaepernick7 & @NFL could #TakeAKnee #VetsForKaepernick Proud to be @BeyondtheChoir… https://t.co/193r7yrJuK

"Those are the rights we protect," another former soldier tweeted.

As a former soldier, I proudly say #TakeTheKnee those are the rights we protect.... #vetsforkaepernick

Another veteran shared a protest picture of himself, holding a poster that read "I signed up to defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic." He also used the hashtag #VetsAgainstTrump.

Felt like this has become relevant again. #VetsAgainstTrump #VetsVsHate #TakeAKnee #VetsForKaepernick

This veteran said he served for 23 years and supported all the players who take a knee.

Served 23 years - fought for the rights of others in far flung places, support all who #TakeAKnee #VetsForKaepernick

The progressive political action committee Vote Vets also tweeted in solidarity.

As veterans, we swore an oath to support and defend the Constitutional rights of all citizens to speak freely and p… https://t.co/T9Wm0AQccU

The NAACP connected the protests to previous civil rights activism by black athletes, tweeting pictures of Tommie Smith and John Carlos during their medal ceremony at the 1968 Summer Olympics, of pro-boxer Muhammad Ali leading a march, and of Jacksonville Jaguars team owner Shad Khan linking arms with his players on Sunday.

This is about the ability of Americans to utilize their constitutional rights without punitive actions from their e… https://t.co/jmxDsTr1Ne

The American Civil Liberties Union also tweeted support.

The ACLU supports the athletes protesting racial injustice, police brutality, and mass incarceration. #TakeAKnee

Stevie Wonder took a knee at a concert Saturday night in New York's Central Park.

#TakeAKnee ❤️ Stevie shows us how it's done.

Wonder said it was an emotional night for him, saying "my mother cries in heaven for me."

"She left me in a world where she believed I would be able to see. And I do," he said. "But not in the way she imagined.

"What I have seen too much if is breaking my heart," Wonder said, referring to the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville last month. "I have seen hate marching down the streets disguised as a cry for equality." And, he said, "If can see it, dammit, I know you can see it.

Wonder then dropped to one, then both knees, with the help of his son Kwame. "I take a knee for America and two knees in prayer for our world," he said. "Amen."

At a concert in honor of Charlottesville held at the University of Virginia Sunday, Pharell Williams followed Wonder's example.

"If I want to get on my knees right now for the people in my city…for the people in my state — that’s what that flag is for,” Wiliams said.

Jesse Jackson tweeted a photo of himself "kneeling for justice."

Supermodel Naomi Campbell tweeted a picture of Marin Luther King Jr., and used the hashtag #TakeAKnee to show her support with the NFL protesters.

#TAKEAKNEE 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👊🏾🙏🏾#NFL

Public Enemy's Chuck D also used the hashtag.

Take A Damn Knee today #TakeAKnee

So did the band Pearl Jam.

We support @mosesbread72, @Kaepernick7, and everyone's constitutional right to stand up, sit down or #takeaknee for… https://t.co/fywj6hmDAS

Actress Mia Farrow also tweeted her support.

"... I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag" - Jackie Robinson, 1972 #TakeAKnee

NFL fans and their families also shared photos of themselves taking a knee together to show their support.

#ChenHayes family #takeaknee @Kaepernick7 @ShaunKing @LehmanCollege @nacac @CounselingCSJ @ascatweets @codepink

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