Trump Attends National Championship Game In Atlanta

Frederick Owens
January 10, 2018

President Donald Trump took the field Monday before Alabama and Georgia faced off in the College Football Playoff National Championship. A year ago, Trump described Atlanta on Twitter as "falling apart" and "crime infested", because Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) refused to attend his inauguration.

In October, Vice President Mike Pence walked out of an Indianapolis Colts game after two members of the opposing 49ers team kneeled during the anthem.

Yet, Trump didn't receive a warm welcome as his motorcade pulled up to Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Hours earlier, in a Nashville speech, Trump again criticized athletes who kneel during the anthem to protest police brutality.

With the rain's unpleasantness compounded by temperatures in the 30s, many fans - decked out in University of Georgia red-and-black or University of Alabama crimson - sought refuge ahead of the game inside nearby restaurants and the Georgia World Congress Center, waiting for the stadium gates to open.

President Is ‘Sad’ to See Hatch Go
President Is ‘Sad’ to See Hatch Go

The Atlanta branch of the NAACP is encouraging those going to the game to wear white and wave white towels if they disagree with the Trump's policies and statements, a move meant to mock conservatives who sometimes call liberals "snowflakes".

Upon his arrival at the stadium, Trump was greeted by tens of thousands in Atlanta with cheers and a smattering of boos.

Trump, who has made respectful observation of the national anthem at sporting events a fiercely divisive political issue, stood at midfield and sang some of the "Star-Spangled Banner", while remaining silent at other times.

The players, as is normal in college football, were not yet on the field for the anthem.

Trump is expected to join Alabama's radio broadcast for an interview at the end of the first quarter with play-by-play man Eli Gold and analyst Phil Savage. Rapper Kendrick Lamar - who has been a critic of the commander in chief, performed during the halftime.

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