For more than five months now, Donald Trump has spent an inordinate amount of time fretting about professional football players taking a knee during the pregame singing of the national anthem as a form of protest against racial inequality and police brutality.
“Disgraceful,” “disrespectful,” and a “son of a bitch” are just a few choice descriptions Trump has used to talk about these players. And on Monday night, given an opportunity to proudly stand and sing along confidently and proudly to the Star-Spangled Banner in front of 70,000 people in attendance and millions more at home watching the college football national championship game between Alabama and Georgia, the leader of the free world struggled mightily.
At certain points, Trump appeared to have difficulty remembering the words. At other times, Trump gave up singing entirely. Does Trump know the lyrics to our national anthem? This video tells the story.
— ABC News (@ABC) January 9, 2018
In fairness, Donald Trump would be just the latest in a long lineage of celebrities to bungle the words to the national anthem on national television. And a 2004 survey by polling firm Harris Interactive found that nearly two thirds of Americans don’t know the words to the Star-Spangled Banner. A more recent albeit informal survey by The Daily Beast was even more grim: of 73 adults asked to recite the words to the anthem, just 8 managed it.
Still, few people have been so adamant about the importance of respecting the national anthem as Donald Trump. Knowing full well that he would be filmed during the anthem — Fox News even broke into its primetime coverage with a breaking news banner announcing to its audience that Donald Trump was standing on a football field — Trump still couldn’t be bothered to sing along for at least half of the song. Sad!