Jul 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump ramps up culture war attacks

donald trump and melania trump
Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump's attacks are spreading to sports that are cornerstones of rural, conservative white American life.

Why it matters: The culture war that engulfed the NBA and NFL is reaching other major leagues, with teams that stonewalled activists for years suddenly showing a willingness to listen.

Among Trump's targets Monday:

  1. Bubba Wallace, NASCAR's only Black driver at its top level, who Trump tweeted should apologize after a "hoax" noose was found in his garage. Wallace neither found the noose nor reported it to NASCAR — and while the noose had been hanging prior to Wallace's team using the garage, NASCAR took it seriously and called it "real."
  2. NASCAR itself, who Trump said shouldn't have banned the "Flag," a reference to the organization forbidding the display of the Confederate battle flag that was flown by men who killed U.S. Army soldiers.
  3. The Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians, who Trump said would be weak and "politically correct" to change their name. He tossed in a dig at Sen. Elizabeth Warren for good measure.

Between the lines: Sen. Lindsey Graham disagreed with Trump.

  • "I don’t think Bubba Wallace has anything to apologize for," Graham said on Fox News host Brian Kilmeade's radio show, per Mediaite.
  • "I’ve lived in South Carolina all my life and if you’re in business, the Confederate flag is not a good way to grow your business," he told CNN.

The bottom line: Trump is "pitting himself against the Black Lives Matter racial justice movement. It's really that simple. He is going to say that he is for law and order. That he is for defending the streets," Axios' Jonathan Swan said on this morning's Axios Today podcast.

  • The "ugly reality of this election is that in some instances it's going to look like a race war."

Go deeper: Trump's Tucker Carlson mind-meld

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