A US Army veteran knew President Donald Trump’s motorcade would be driving by his funeral home in Indianapolis, Indiana Wednesday, and acted in defiance by kneeling as he drove past.
The striking civil disobedience gesture which has picked up steam this week as over 200 NFL players and coaches have done similarly over the past week, was even more pronounced as Marvin Boatright was cradling a folded American flag in his arms while wearing an American Legion cap.
‘As a veteran, and as an African-American, we have already and we continue to serve for God and country,’ Boatright, 60, said. ‘But you can have a love of God and country and still be against social injustice. You don’t have to separate one from the other.’
Marvin Boatright took a knee when Trump’s motorcade drove past him on Wednesday
Boatright in a current photo on the left, and a photo during his time in the Army in the 1970s
It wasn’t the first time he crossed paths with Trump either. Last spring, when it was still presidential candidtae Trump, Boatright said his motorcade drove past him.
‘I wanted to give him a thumbs down,’ Boatright, a 60-year-old U.S. Army veteran told HuffPost. ‘But I didn’t do anything. I just looked at him out of respect.’
Boatright knew Trump would be driving past Boatright Funeral Home toward the state fairgrounds where he was speaking on tax reform, and this time he wasn’t going to let the opportunity pass him by again.
He also hoped someone would notice him in the motorcade, on bended knee and holding the flag, and someone did. A photographer traveling with Trump snapped the photo of him, and it was shared on social media.
Boatright was also kneeling in solidarity with the NFL players who took a knee during the national anthem this week.
‘For the commander-in-chief to call our citizens ‘sons of a bitches’ was totally wrong and beneath the dignity of the office that he holds,’ he said about Trump’s attacks on players that practiced the act of civil disobedience.
‘We love this country,’ said Boatright, who served in the U.S. Army 1st Calvary from 1974 to 1976, according to the HuffPo. ‘We love this flag. But we also love life and liberty for all humanity.’
Members of the Indianapolis Colts stand and kneel for the national anthem prior to the start of the game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium
‘The kneeling was to bring dramatization to the disappointment that we have seen throughout our country as it relates to those who have been killed by our various police departments,’ Boatright said.
‘The issues that affect our nation can be seen and made visible through sports,’ Boatright said. ‘We need to get our racial equality act together, especially as it relates to police action and shootings around our nation. … [The protests] were never about disrespecting our nation or the flag, which we hold so dear.’
‘We take an oath to defend this country, foreign and domestic,’ Boatright said. ‘But there’s no enemy based on your right to express yourself … We have to look at life through a broad lens, not a damn colored glass.’
‘We serve whomever,’ said Boatright, adding that he would defend the free speech of someone holding a Confederate flag, too. ‘We don’t make a distinction and [Trump] should not have either.’
Boatright said he wouldn’t have taken a knee if Trump hadn’t called NFL players ‘sons of b*tches.’
‘I would want my children to be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin,’ Boatright said. ‘You cannot ask for anything greater. … We’ve not reached it yet, but I think we’ll get there.’