Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough has been accused of shouting “F*** Trump” before Monday night’s College Playoff National Championship game against Georgia, with the President of the United States also facing a backlash over his failure to sing the entire national anthem.
Protesters also projected the same phrase onto the Mercedes-Benz Stadium ahead of Donald Trump’s arrival at the ground, while fans were seen waving towels emblazoned with the same message on them. Upon his arrival, a section of fans booed Mr Trump, although others applauded him.
Mr Trump has heavily criticised National Football League players who have protested during the national anthem with the ‘Take a Knee’ campaign over the last year regarding racial inequality and the mistreatment of black people by law enforcement. But Mr Trump faced criticism after he failed to sing all of the words during the national anthem ahead of Monday night’s in Atlanta.
That wasn’t the only controversy to stem from the match, as footage taken from a camera phone appeared to reveal Scarbrough shouting an obscenity about the President ahead of the match.
Scarbrough has taken to social media to reject the accusations, and he wrote on Twitter that he had shouted the word “Georgia” instead of “Trump”, despite the footage appearing to suggest otherwise.
“If y’all really listen I said Georgia,” Scarbrough said. “Smh [shake my head] about y’all people in this world.”
Neither Alabama nor Georgia were on the pitch for the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner as they left the changing rooms shortly after the national anthem, but the incident involving Scarbrough appears to have taken place as Alabama made their way through the stadium ahead of kick-off – shortly after the controversy surrounding Mr Trump’s singing took place.
In the original video, which was taken by Sporting News, Scarbrough – wearing the No 9 jersey – can be seen walking with his teammates and shouting as he approaches the camera.
Watch the video below (Warning: contains expletive language):
A number of Scarbrough’s Twitter followers refused to believe his explanation and criticised him for allegedly shouting the expletive, with responses showing a mixture of people who supporter Mr Trump and those who did not, but felt that the running back had reduced himself to the President’s level.
The controversy adds to the protests against Mr Trump, which come just days after the President’s extraordinary social media outburst in which he defended himself against accusations against his mental health and claiming that he is a “very stable genius”.
Mr Trump could also attend matches in the NFL play-offs this month ahead of the Super Bowl, with the New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft a close ally of his, with the Patriots tipped to reach the NFL’s showcase match for a second consecutive year.
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