Published: Tue, September 26, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Pat Tillman's widow asks Trump not to politicize her husband's service

Pat Tillman's widow asks Trump not to politicize her husband's service

It was just one of many dozens of tweets over the weekend that contrasted Pat Tillman's service with the demonstrations during the national anthem, which started as a way for players to call attention to racial injustice.

But the people who know him best say he wouldn't want his name used to score any kind of political points.

According to a 2005 San Francisco Chronicle article about the Army's controversial treatment of Tillman's death, the former Cardinals safety was known among his friends and family as a "fiercely independent thinker" whose "interests ranged from history books on World War II and Winston Churchill to works of leftist Noam Chomsky", a "favorite" author and a vocal critic of the Trump administration.

"He fought 4our country/freedom", the tweet said.

Marie, who Stelter said has been "sharply critical of the president in the past", said she released the statement in hopes that it will eventually reach Trump.

The New England Patriots were among the National Football League teams facing criticism this week for having players kneel during the anthem. But what Tillman would do - is not so cut-and-dried. One things for sure, Marie Tillman will not be having anybody use her husband's name in vein.

I shared my thoughts w/ @brianstelter on Pat, and, the need for unity and togetherness in our country. "It is my hope that his memory should always remind people that we must come together".

President Donald Trump continued his crusade against the NFL and its players on Monday by retweeting a photo of a true American hero Pat Tillman - a former pro-football player who gave up a lucrative NFL career to fight for the country after 9/11. "We are too great of a country for that", Marie Tillman wrote. "I know the very personal cost in a way I feel acutely every day".

Tillman's statement concluded: "It is my honest hope that our leaders both understand and learn from the lessons of Pat's life and death, and also those of so many other fearless Americans".

"NFLplayer PatTillman joined U.S. Army in 2002".

"My great grandfather was at Pearl Harbor, and a lot of my family has ... gone and fought in wars, and I really haven't done a damn thing as far as laying myself on the line like that", Tillman told NBC News on September 12, 2001.

By the time Trump added his voice, the pushback had already begun, as people pointed out that Tillman was a less-than-convenient symbol for pride in the armed forces.

Jon Krakauer, who wrote about Tillman's life in his 2009 book, "Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman", was astonished by the soldier's depth. "He obviously doesn't know Pat at all". "Stop Using Pat Tillman", by Deadspin's Patrick Redford, explains why this is so disturbing.

He was a "fearless and curious man, who viewed war from the sidelines as the ultimate proving ground". He was open to being questioned and debated.

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