The Atlanta chapter of the NAACP has urged attendees Monday at the NCAA College Football Playoff National Championship game in Atlanta to protest President Donald Trump’s attendance.
In a Facebook post, the group described the president’s presence at the game between the University of Alabama Crimson Tide and the University of Georgia Bulldogs as cause for protest:
We will not let the President’s visit go without a response. If you are lucky enough to attend the game, we encourage you to bring a white towel to wave simulating a blizzard while the president is in the packed stadium. Trump supporters mockingly call the opposition snowflakes, but when we come together we create a mighty storm.
The NAACP Atlanta devoted their Twitter feed Monday to the protests, providing instructions for those in attendance.
BLIZZARD ALERT:To participate in the direct action starting at 6 pm:
1. Follow our social media @naacpatlanta
2. Post under the hashtag #AllTrumpsLies or #AllTrumpsLiesATL
3. If you are attending the game wear white or bring a white towel to wave.
— NAACP Atlanta (@NAACPAtlanta) January 8, 2018
How have the schools responded?
Alabama and Georgia have largely refused to politicize the game. USA Today reported that a number of players from both teams have insisted that politics should take a backseat.
Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith told USA Today that, while he thinks it is great that the president will be in attendance, he is “not focused on politics.”
Georgia coach Kirby Smart said Trump’s appearance is “a political event” and, therefore, something he’s not concerned about.
Georgia offensive lineman Ben Cleveland noted that the Georgia Bulldogs are “a football organization, not a political organization,” with no political agenda. He did add that he would be honored to be part of the tradition of going to the White House should the Bulldogs win the national title.
Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams described the game in terms beyond politics.
“We value the friendships and closeness built through football a lot, and I think politics tends to be pretty divisive,” Williams said. “I feel like I have to be really educated to have an opinion. I’ve been so focused on football and school — that’s pretty much a full-time job, plus overtime.”
Georgia offensive lineman Pat Allen agreed: “I’m not really into politics at all. When you look at it, there’s a lot of things going on: some stuff makes sense and some doesn’t, so why even focus on it?”