Retired boxer George Foreman made headlines more than half a century ago when he held up an American flag upon winning the gold medal at the 1968 Olympic games.
In recent remarks, he made it clear that his love for the nation has not changed — and he pushed back against those who have a problem with his patriotism.
“I love the flag”
“For about 54 years, people have [asked] me not to keep saying ‘I love America,'” Foreman tweeted on Independence Day, according to The Daily Wire. “Well I do and I’m not ashamed. Don’t leave it; Love it. Happy 4th of July.”
Of course, this was just the latest in his provocative statements regarding national pride. In 2017, he offered a simple response to former NFL quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick.
“The greatest day of my life was when I put on my colors, representing the United States in the Olympics,” Foreman said at the time, as The Daily Wire reported. “I love the United States. I love the flag. But there are a lot of people who haven’t found that reason. They don’t strive. They haven’t been brought up with people who were patriotic to even point them in the right direction.”
His words stand in sharp contrast to the actions and comments of Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry after a third-place finish in trials last month.
As The Star-Spangled Banner played, she turned her back. According to Fox News, the activist athlete later tweeted: “The anthem doesn’t speak for me. It never has.”
“Brainwashed to ignore our history”
Democratic politicians have echoed the same type of disdain toward their own country in recent days. U.S. Rep. Cori Bish (D-MO), for example, rang in Independence Day with a tweet expressing severe criticism for the holiday.
“When they say that the 4th of July is about American freedom, remember this: the freedom they’re referring to is for white people,” the freshman lawmaker wrote. “This land is stolen land and Black people still aren’t free.”
Although she did not elaborate on the ways Black Americans are not free, her rhetoric nevertheless resonated with a number of far-left figures.
For his part, Democratic congressional candidate Shahid Buttar of California weighed in with a direct response to Bush’s tweet.
“It’s almost as if our entire country has been brainwashed to ignore our history — and how its worst elements continue today — despite our self-congratulatory rhetoric,” he wrote.