During a Wednesday night panel on CNN, a retired Army Ranger who knew deceased Army Corporal Pat Tillman said that Tillman would have joined in recent protests before NFL games, the New York Post reports.
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Much of the week has been mired in speculation if Tillman would have protested racial inequality by sitting out pregame performances of the national anthem at NFL games.
“I’d be shocked if Pat Tillman wasn’t out there taking a knee with these … players,” Rory Fanning told CNN.
“Pat cared about people who were exploited, people who were oppressed. He didn’t care so much about symbols.”
Fanning then mentioned the player who brought attention to pre-game protests in the first place.
“So I would definitely think Pat would air on the side of Colin Kaepernick.”
Tillman’s name is back in the news after President Donald Trump retweeted an image of Tillman that implied that protesting during the national anthem was somehow inappropriate.
Tillman’s widow later responded to Trump in a fiery statement to the press.
“As a football player and soldier, Pat inspired countless Americans to unify,” Marie Tillman wrote
“Pat’s service, along with that of every man and woman’s service, should never be politicized in a way that divides us. We are too great of a country for that. Those that serve fight for the American ideals of freedom, justice and democracy,” she continued. “They and their families know the cost of that fight. I know the very personal costs in a way I feel acutely every day.”