Upon Trump’s arrival at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, the reception at the sight of his motorcade was less-than-enthusiastic, to put it mildly.
My friend waited outside of the stadium before coming in he was not welcomed with southern hospitality. Proud of my city pic.twitter.com/yvBwBm97vu
— Brenna Simon (@BrennaSimonSays) January 9, 2018
Tonight’s game has become rife with political subtext. Alabama head coach Nick Saban first responded to reports that Trump would be in attendance with a carefully worded response that speaks volumes.
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“You know, look, I have great respect for the office of the President of the United States, and it would be an honor, whoever was in that position, if they chose to come to see the College Football National Championship Game,” Saban said.
Notably absent is any mention of Trump himself, but rather – in a thinly veiled commentary – Saban only alluded to “the office of the President of the United States.” The fact that he avoids the opportunity to refer to him by name, then, is telling.
Of course, Alabama and Georgia, the teams involved in tonight’s game, don’t hail from blindly pro-Trump states. In a stunning development, Alabama chose Doug Jones over Trump-backed Republican candidate Roy Moore, opting instead to elect a Democrat to the U.S. Senate for the first time in a quarter century. And in Clarke County, Georgia, home of the University of Georgia, Hillary Clinton beat Trump by a nearly 40 point margin.
Trump may have thought he was in safe territory, but tonight’s vocal protest against his arrival says otherwise.