Buttigieg defends NFL anthem protests – Says Trump might understand if he hadn’t dodged the draft

For the second time this week, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg questioned President Donald Trump’s failure to serve his country in Vietnam, and he did so when asked about the NFL anthem protests that were begun by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to bring attention to racial inequality in the United States.

Buttigieg served in the U.S. Navy and was asked by TMZ about the NFL protests and the way Trump derided players who chose to kneel during the playing of the national anthem. The South Bend, Indiana, mayor remarked:

“The flag that was on my shoulder when I served represented, among other things, the right to free speech.

“You don’t have to like it but one of the reasons we served was to defend that right, the right to peaceful protest and the idea that we can protest what is wrong with our country.”

Buttigieg made similar comments in an interview he gave to The Washington Post in which he told reporter Robert Costa that the protesting NFL players “exercising a right that I had put my life on the line to defend.”

“I didn’t think of the flag as something that itself as an image was sacred. I thought of it as something that was sacred because of what it represented. One of the very things it represented is the freedom of speech, and that’s one of the reasons I served.”

And Mayor Pete reinforced his belief in the right to protest on Twitter:

Another remark Buttigieg made to TMZ is certain to infuriate the notoriously thin-skinned Trump. The mayor suggested that if Trump had served in the military, “maybe he would feel a little more strongly about those freedoms.”

Trump was eligible for the draft when he graduated from college in 1968, but received a medical deferments for “bone spurs” in his feet. However, a story from the New York Times late last year suggested that diagnosis had not been the least bit valid, earning Trump the nickname “Commander Bone Spurs” on social media.

Mayor Pete is right about one thing in particular: Trump loves to beat his chest and proclaim how patriotic he is, but when his country needed him, he conveniently chose to be unable to serve thanks to a favor from a doctor who was a friend of Donald Trump’s father, Fred.

Featured Image Via Fox News