Temple University professor and CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill blasted President Donald Trump for the comments he made at a Huntsville, Alabama, rally Friday deriding NFL athletes protesting during the national anthem.
What did Marc Lamont Hill say?
— CNN (@CNN) September 23, 2017
"This may be one of the most vile and disgusting things that president Trump has ever said in a very long and impressive list of vile and disgusting things," Hill said.
"To call people exercising their First Amendment rights to protest injustice 'sons of b**ches,' when you don't have that kind of language, he didn't have that kind of language for Al Qaeda when they were cutting Americans' heads off," he added.
"He didn't have that kind of language for people who were white supremacists, anti-Semite walking through Charlottesville, in fact he called them 'very fine people,' so an anti-Semite is a very fine person, and somebody who is protesting injustice and violence against vulnerable people is somehow an SOB?" he continued.
"That is a terrible language, that is a disgusting language, but it's reflective of a deep white supremacist impulse in Donald Trump's mind, spirit, body and politics," he concluded.
Hill took to his Twitter account to encourage NFL owners and players to speak out against the president's comments.
Donald Trump’s most recent comments are a clear line in the sand for responsible players and owners. They MUST stand up and speak out.— Marc Lamont Hill (@Marc Lamont Hill) 1506139654.0
What did Trump say about the protesters?
During a rally for Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), Trump launched into an attack on NFL players protesting during the national anthem.
“We respect our flag!” he said.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag, to say get that son of a b**ch off the field right now?” he added. “He’s fired. He’s fired!”
“Cuz that’s a total disrespect of our heritage, OK,” he explained later in the speech. “That’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for, OK? Everything that we stand for.”
Was Hill's characterization of Trump's comments fair?
While many have made similar assessments as Hill made about Trump's comments after Charlottesville, the president's allies and spokespersons have clarified that Trump was referring to those who object to taking down Confederate statues, not simply white supremacists. In fairness to Hill, Trump was very unclear in his initial defense of the protesters at Charlottesville, many of whom identified themselves as white nationalists.