Ventura Calls National Anthem “Propaganda”

Photo: RT America

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura took umbrage with President Donald Trump’s suggestion that the National Football League should make players stand for the national anthem.

Ventura sent out a series of tweets, engaging with the president and other Twitter users, in which he criticized the president and others who take issue with NFL players failing to stand for the national anthem. Such protests started with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and this weekend reached a new zenith following Trump’s rhetoric at a campaign stop in Alabama for Sen. Luther Strange.

CNN reports Trump said NFL owners should respond to any disrespect of the flag by saying, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired. He’s fired!”

This weekend the entirety or vast majority of the entire teams of the Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Tennessee Titans all stayed in the locker room during the national anthem.

Ventura reiterated points he has made previously this year in defending players’ First Amendment rights of free speech and expression.

As a veteran I fought for the rights of all Americans to exercise their first amendment rights,” Ventura wrote. “Colin is not disrespecting anything.”

The Vietnam War Navy veteran and former one-term governor took it farther from there though, going on to criticize the anthem itself as a form of propaganda.

“They are athetes playing a game,” Ventura wrote. “Why the hell do we even need the “national anthem” before they play? #propoganda”

The former professional wrestler currently hosts a weekly program on the Russian state funded international news channel RT. Prior to Trump’s election, Ventura also floated the idea of joining Trump’s ticket as a vice presidential candidate.

Anders Koskinen