Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images file
Since President Trump took office, the partisan division that evidenced on the campaign trail translated into national culture wars, including debates over the merits of
removing statues and building names that honor Confederate soldiers, as well as kneeling at football games to protest racial inequality.
On Aug. 12, white nationalists gathered in Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia, before a rally organized by a group known as “Unite the Right.” The rally’s purpose was to protest the removal of a statue honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Later that day, a 32-year-old woman was killed and more than 19 others were injured after a car rammed into a group of counter-protesters who were demonstrating against the
Trump denounced the series of events that unfolded in Charlottesville, but was
criticized by the public and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for not fully condemning the protests’ white nationalist elements, which included appearances by former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke and white nationalist leader Richard Spencer.
In early October, Vice President Mike Pence attended a San Francisco 49ers game in Indianapolis only to walk out after some of the team’s players knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
After the fallout, Trump said days later that the NFL should have suspended former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was the first to “take a knee” during the National Anthem to protest racial injustice in the U.S.