Marie Tillman, the widow of Army Ranger and former NFL player Pat Tillman, says that her husband’s service and death should never be used or politicized in any way that seeks to divide us as a country.

She was speaking about President Trump’s tweet where he referenced the former Arizona Cardinal Tillman and used the hashtag #StandForOurAnthem. Trump had earlier tweeted that NFL owners “should fire the SOBs” who don’t stand for the National Anthem and kneel to protest racial inequality and police brutality. As a result, instead of a handful of players, about 200 decided to take a knee during the Star Spangled Banner prior to Sunday’s NFL games.

Tillman walked away from the NFL to join the Army after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004.

“As a football player and soldier, Pat inspired countless Americans to unify,” Marie Tillman said. “It is my hope that his memory should always remind people that we must come together. 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. They and their families know the cost of that fight. I know the very personal costs in a way I feel acutely every day.”

“The very action of self-expression and the freedom to speak from one’s heart — no matter those views — is what Pat and so many other Americans have given their lives for. Even if they didn’t always agree with those views. It is my sincere hope that our leaders both understand and learn from the lessons of Pat’s life and death, and also those of so many other brave Americans.”

Thus far, surprisingly so, Tillman’s statement hasn’t induced a return Tweet from the President.

To read the entire article from The USA Today click here:

Photo courtesy Pat Tillman Foundation

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