A few days ago, while in the middle of his meltdown over the NFL, Donald Trump retweeted a photo of Marine Staff Sgt. John Jones. The military veteran lost both of his legs in battle and Trump decided to use him as a political tool to divide the country. The tweet was accompanied with the message,”I wonder what this BRAVE American would give to stand on his OWN two just ONCE MORE for our #Anthem? #MAGA #NFL.”
The picture is obviously supposed to make people believe that Staff Sgt. Jones is onboard with Trump’s condemnations of NFL players, but that isn’t the case. In fact, Jones is really annoyed that the president used his photo for something like this. According to TalkingPointsMemo:
[Jones] told TPM on Tuesday that he takes no issue with NFL players’ protests—but he’s not enthused about being dragged into the politics of whether someone should stand or not stand for the national anthem. As he drove to his job as director of development at Workshops for Warriors, a California-based non-profit that trains veterans to be certified machinists, the two-tour veteran of the Iraq War explained that while he would not personally choose to protest the anthem in that way, he disagreed with the idea that doing so was ‘not acceptable,’ as Trump has insisted.
“I went over there and I fought for the rights and freedoms of everybody to do whatever they wanted to do in a lawful manner,” Jones said. “So if the NFL as a whole wants to protest the flag and protest America, then so be it, that’s your right. Keep it peaceful, keep it respectful and I don’t care what you do.
Jones told TPM that people often use his photo to promote their political agendas, much like they do Pat Tillman’s (Tillman left the NFL to join the military and died in a friendly fire incident in 2004). The veteran went on to explain that he doesn’t care if the president tweets an existing meme of him, it’s the fact that he used his image to further his argument over something having to do with football without his blessing.
I don’t like being utilized in the whole political debate of whether you should stand or whether you should not stand.
Hopefully, the president thinks twice next time he decides to use a veteran’s photo without their permission to further his own partisan agenda.