James Harden posted up in a pro-police face mask and people aren’t having it.
On Thursday night, the Houston Rockets star was spotted in Orlando rocking a face covering that appeared to feature a pro-law enforcement graphic. The piece showed a skull on top of a black-and-white American flag pattern with a single blue stripe running through it. Twitter users immediately blasted Harden after realizing the mask was covered with the “thin blue line” flag, a controversial symbol that’s displayed in support for officers.
The thin blue line flag is widely associated with Blue Lives Matter, a dismissive response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Those who display the flag insist it is to honor the men and women in blue, as well as fallen officers; however, opponents say it has become a symbol of racism.
“It feels akin to a Confederate flag,” Melina Abdullah, a co-founder of the BLM Los Angeles chapter, told Politico.
Harden’s mask looks very similar to the “Thing Blue Patriot” bandana available at Hoorag’s online store.
The product description reads in part:
Just when you think you’ve seen all we had to offer those who protect and serve. Remember those who have fallen with our new Thin Blue Patriot design. Featuring a rad new skull on top of a grungy looking Thin Blue Line American flag, this is everything you couldn’t have wanted in a kickin’ face mask.
Trey Songz and Young Thug — among many others — publicly condemned James’ choice of mask.
This certified clown shit. I’ll say it for everybody who scared to. FOH https://t.co/pVRMaL9dPG
— Trey Songz (@TreySongz) July 17, 2020
Just so u know James harden is my brada… btw he don’t have internet so he obviously don’t know what’s right or wrong if he posted something that’s against US…but I hate when rappers get in niggas biz like it’s can’t happen to em? buster let niggas clear they shit up activist
— Young Thug ? (@youngthug) July 17, 2020