Tags: pat tillman | marie tillman | politicize his death | nfl | protests

Pat Tillman's Widow Doesn't Want his Death 'Politicized'

Pat Tillman's Widow Doesn't Want his Death 'Politicized'
The Pat Tillman statue in Tempe, Arizona (Rick Scuteri/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 26 September 2017 07:54 AM

The widow of Pat Tillman, the professional football player who gave up his NFL contract to serve in the Army, said she does not want her husband's service politicized in a way "that divides us."

Tillman was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004 after leaving the Arizona Cardinals.

President Donald Trump has sharply criticized NFL players for taking a knee during the national anthem. And on Monday, he retweeted this from a follower who invoked Tillman's name in the growing controversy:

But Tillman's wife, Marie, released a statement to CNN on Monday night and said she hoped the president would read it.

"As a football player and soldier, Pat inspired countless Americans to unify," she said. "It is my hope that his memory should always remind people that we must come together."

"Pat's service, along with that of every man and woman's service, should never be politicized in a way that divides us. We are too great of a country for that," she said.

"Those that serve fight for the American ideals of freedom, justice and democracy," she wrote. "They and their families know the cost of that fight. I know the very personal costs in a way I feel acutely every day. The very action of self expression and the freedom to speak from one's heart — no matter those views — is what Pat and so many other Americans have given their lives for. Even if they didn't always agree with those views.

And she added: "It is my sincere hope that our leaders both understand and learn from the lessons of Pat's life and death, and also those of so many other brave Americans."

Meanwhile, in a post on Medium explaining why he stands for the anthem, Cincinnati Bengals tightend Tyler Eifert disclosed that he wrote Tillman's name on his cleats during the first game of the season.

"And each game thereafter, I am going to write another person's name from the United States military, whether active, retired, killed or missing in action, or a prisoner of war," he said. "These people are why I am standing because they gave me and everyone else the chance to have freedom and earn a living playing a sport I love."

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The widow of Pat Tillman, the professional football player who gave up his NFL contract to serve in the Army, said she does not want her husband's service politicized in a way "that divides us."
pat tillman, marie tillman, politicize his death, nfl, protests
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2017-54-26
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 07:54 AM
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