A rendition of the national anthem by 98-year-old World War II veteran Pete DuPré on a harmonica was hailed on Twitter for the U.S. women's national soccer team on their Olympic send-off match, but protests by two U.S. players detracted from the patriotic salute.
A tweeted video showed the harmonica work of DuPré (pronounced Do-Pray).
"98-year-old World War II veteran Pete DuPré played the national anthem on a harmonica before the @USWNT's Olympic send-off match"
But Richard Grenell, Newsmax contributor and former Trump administration acting director of national intelligence, expressed his disgust that two players turned their backs on the flag while DuPré played ''The Star-Spangled Banner.''
Grenell tweeted, noting the official Twitter account of the U.S. Women's National Team cropped out the national anthem protesters, while the Mexican team stood in attention:
"Every woman on the Mexican Soccer Team faced the flag & sang the Mexican National anthem. Several woman on the U.S. Soccer team turned away from the US flag – while a 92 year old Veteran played the anthem on a harmonica.
"Why didn't @USWNT show the women turning away?"
A subsequent Grenell tweet noted the team members who protested the anthem:
"#11 and #2 turned away from the US flag and the 92 year old WWII harmonica-playing Veteran who risked his life so these self-obsessed children could disrespect America."
One is No. 11, Christen Press, a Californian and one of the stars of past teams, boasting 61 career goals and 42 assists. The other is No. 2, Crystal Dunn, a New Yorker who has 24 goals and 18 assists in her USWNT career.
Paris Dennard, the Republican Party's national spokesperson & director of black media affairs and a former White House Fellowships commissioner for the Trump administration, called the anthem protests "shameful," as well as disrespectful to the World War II veteran.
"For the SHAMEFUL team members who turned their backs to our national anthem remember you also turned your backs to 98-year-old World War II #veteran Pete DuPré who played our anthem on his harmonica before the @USWNT's #Olympic send-off match"
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