April Ryan And Sarah Sanders Spar Over Trump’s Understanding Of The National Anthem Protests

In 2016, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick chose to kneel during the national anthem to protest the rash of police brutality, police-involved shootings, and oppression of black people. He received a wave of backlash that ultimately led to death threats and being released from the 49ers. 

The most damaging criticism, however, came from President Donald Trump, who called for NFL players to be fired or suspended if they didn’t stand up for the national anthem.

Fast forward two years and the President’s stance on the issue is still a matter of discussion. During a press briefing at the White House, CNN contributor April Ryan pressed Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on whether or not Trump understood the reason for the protest. The answer she received was likely expected, but not what she wanted.

“The president has made his position crystal clear on this topic, Sanders replied. “He’s not going to waver on that.”

Sanders went on to say that Trump had the support of 70% of the country, a figure that has people questioning its source.

Ryan, dissatisfied with that response, continued to insist on an actual answer, even as Sanders tried to move on. As much as Sanders tried to ignore Ryan, the correspondent kept inquiring whether Trump knew the purpose of the protests. 

While the exchange ended with no ground gained on either side, Ryan’s attempts at getting her question answered did garner plenty of attention, both good and bad. Twitter user Heather Champion (@winningatmylife) called Ryan “the rudest person on the planet,” stating “To get respect, you have to show respect.”

Others are more supportive of Ryan’s concerns, calling out Sanders for essentially ignoring the question and noting the hypocrisy of standing for the national anthem but disrespecting a person’s right to protest.

H/T: Twitter