The White House correspondent for PBS has come under fire after she tweeted that the moment a paralyzed GOP House candidate stood up from his wheelchair at the Republican National Convention was a ‘direct rebuke’ to athletes protesting police brutality.
Yamiche Alcindor, who is also a contributor to NBC News and MSNBC, was live-tweeting while covering the third night of the convention on Wednesday when it was Madison Cawthorn’s turn to speak.
Cawthorn, who was left paralyzed and in need of a wheelchair after a car accident in 2014, ended the speech by dramatically rising from his wheelchair and standing with the aid of a walker while reciting lines from Pledge of Allegiance.
Alcindor tweeted: ‘Madison Cawthorn made it a point to stand, suggesting that all Americans to should stand during the pledge of allegiance & national anthem.
The tweet continued: ‘It was a direct rebuke of actions by ppl – including black athletes who are currently sitting out games – protesting police brutality.’
Yamiche Alcindor (left), the White House correspondent for PBS, came under fire on social media as supporters of Republican House candidate Madison Cawthorn (right), who is paralyzed, accused her of an insensitive tweet
Alcindor tweeted: ‘Madison Cawthorn made it a point to stand, suggesting that all Americans to should stand during the pledge of allegiance & national anthem. It was a direct rebuke of actions by ppl – including black athletes who are currently sitting out games – protesting police brutality.’
Alcindor was reacting to Cawthorn’s speech on the third night of the Republican National Convention. He is seen above speaking from Washington, DC, on Wednesday
At the end of his remarks, Cawthorn stood up out of his wheelchair with the aid of a walker
Cawthorn supporters on Twitter reacted angrily to Alcindor’s tweet.
‘It’s pathetic to watch you try to shame someone for their disability to fit your agenda,’ one Twitter user remarked.
‘Him standing was so much bigger and more than your political game. Shame on you.’
During his speech on Wednesday, Cawthorn hit out at those rioting in the wake of the police shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as well as the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while in custody in late May.
He urged Americans not to ‘cower to a mob’ and to ‘kneel before God but stand for our flag.’
As he rose from his wheelchair, Cawthorn said: ‘Be a radical for liberty and be a radical for our republic for which I stand, one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all.’
Alcindor’s tweet prompted angry responses from Cawthorn supporters on social media, including Jon Nicosia, who accused the journalist of ‘going after a guy paralyzed in a wheelchair’
Another Twitter user wondered why Alcindor wasn’t fired for her tweet
Alcindor was accused of ‘trying to shame someone for their disability to fit your agenda’
‘Yeah…that’s not it at all,’ tweeted US House candidate Buzz Patterson. ‘Your take is so consistently wrong. Good job’
Derek Utler remarked that Alcindor ‘had courage to stand in adversity’
Another Twitter user critical of Alcindor called Black Lives Matter ‘enemies of the US and all for which it stands’
Donald Cooley compared Cawthorn to former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
‘Imagine thinking that a disabled person standing is an insult to disabled people,’ tweeted John Rigolizzo
Mary MacElveen tweeted that athletes who protested police brutality ‘defiled’ the US flag
Furious Twitter users were quick to denounce Alcindor’s response.
Another Twitter user wrote: ‘Why isn’t she being called to be fired for this comment on a handicap person in a wheelchair?’
Derek Utley tweeted: ‘No. It showed he had courage to stand in adversity.’
Another Twitter user compared Cawthorn to former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
‘No, Yamiche got it wrong,’ tweeted the Twitter user.
‘A man with no feeling in his legs was able to literally stand for something he believes in. You could see it was a struggle.
‘If you watch Ken Burns’ doc about the Roosevelts, Democrat FDR struggled to stand and walk while stricken with polio. Study.’
Wrote another Twitter user: ‘Imagine thinking that a disabled person standing is an insult to disabled people.’
Others on Twitter hit out at Cawthorn, accusing him of using his disability as a ‘stunt’
‘This person probably signed up for the theater,’ tweeted another Twitter user
Janis Sauncy tweeted: ‘How is standing for a stupid, meaningless pledge going to protect this country?’
Another Twitter user commented: ‘Of course the national anthem and the American flag are a rebuke to those, like BLM, who’ve declared themselves enemies of the US and all for which it stands.
‘Are you beginning to understand what BLM really is yet?’
In June, Cawthorn, 25, made national headlines when he unexpectedly beat real estate agent Lynda Bennett, a Trump-backed candidate, to win the Republican nomination for former House Rep. Mark Meadows’ seat.
Meadows was representing North Carolina’s 11th congressional district when he gave up the seat to become Trump’s White House chief of staff.
Racial tensions have once again reached a boiling point nationwide after police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday fired seven shots from point blank range at unarmed black man Blake, 29, while they were responding to a domestic disturbance.
The incident, which was caught on film, ignited rioting, looting, arson, and widespread protests in Kenosha as well as other cities.
In June, Cawthorn celebrated his surprise victory with supporters in Hendersonville, North Carolina
Cawthorn gave his speech just hours after teams and players from the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, and professional tennis announced a work stoppage, refusing to play games in protest of Blake’s shooting.
The entire NBA season was at risk of being cancelled as of late Wednesday, with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers both reportedly voting to boycott the remainder of the 2019- 2020 season as a way to protest police brutality and racial injustice.
But players reconsidered and have now decided to move forward the remainder of the NBA postseason schedule, according to The Washington Post.
The chaos began Wednesday when the Milwaukee Bucks announced that they would not take to the floor for their afternoon game against Orlando Magic.
The Bucks’ decision forced the NBA to also postpone two other games scheduled for Wednesday evening.
Racial tensions are once again on the rise after police shot a black man in Wisconsin on Sunday. The image above shows the moment a Kenosha police officer fired at least seven shots into the back of Jacob Blake as he was getting into an SUV in a residential neighborhood
In response, two NBA teams slated to play a playoff game on Wednesday – the Orlando Magic and the Milwaukee Bucks – refused to take the court in protest in Orlando
Athletes have knelt in protest before games to protest police bruality. Members of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers are seen above kneeling before their game on July 30 in Orlando
The move threw the season’s playoffs into disarray, and an 8pm players meeting was called to discuss how to move forward.
According to The Athletic, the closed-door talks were extremely tense, with teams unable to find consensus on how to continue with the rest of the season. They lasted for three hours.
The Lakers and Clippers allegedly voted to boycott all remaining games, while most other teams voted to continue.
NBA star Udonis Haslem ‘spoke to the room and essentially asked how the season would continue without the Lakers and Clippers,’ The Athletic reported.
‘LeBron James then walked out. The rest of the Lakers and Clippers exited behind him.’
One veteran sportscaster told ESPN that the entire basketball season is now ‘in jeopardy’.
James has been an outspoken advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement, and tweeted earlier on Wednesday: ‘F*** THIS MAN!!!!’ WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT.’
He spoke earlier about the shooting of Blake, stating: ‘Having two boys of my own and me being an African-American in America and to see what continues to happen with police brutality towards my kind … it’s very troubling.’
In 2015, then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began to draw attention when he and a handful of other teammates knelt during the singing of the national anthem before the start of their football games. From left: 49ers’ linebacker Eli Harold; Kaepernick; and safety Eric Reid kneel before a game in Santa Clara, California, in November 2016
Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law who is also a top White House adviser, criticized the NBA players for their stance.
Asked if the White House supported the players, Kushner said: ‘Look, I think that the NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they’re able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially.
‘So they have that luxury, which is great,’ he told CNBC‘s Squawk Box.
The players’ refusal to take the field on Wednesday in protest of societal issues is considered an unprecedented act of political activism.
In 2015, then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began to draw attention when he and a handful of other teammates knelt during the singing of the national anthem before the start of their football games.
Kaepernick’s act of protest in response to instances of police brutality soon became a hot-button political issue as Trump and other Republicans were angered by what they viewed as an affront to the military, law enforcement, and the flag.
Supporters of Kaepernick, who has not played professionally since the controversy erupted, argue he was exercising his first amendment rights to peaceful protest.