Never afraid to tackle non-football topics on his personal Twitter account, Jim Harbaugh has addressed the disturbing events that went down in Charlottesville this past weekend.
White nationalists protesting the impending removal of a statue honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee clashed with counter-protesters in the Virginia college town, leaving one woman dead after she and nearly two dozen others were intentionally run over by a 20-year-old alleged Nazi sympathizer who has since been charged with criminal homicide. Tuesday night, the Michigan head coach lashed out at the unrest, writing “[a]nyone who demonstrates through violence, terror or intimidation are embarrassments to our country & are truly disrespectful to our flag.”
Anyone who demonstrates through violence, terror or intimidation are embarrassments to our country & are truly disrespectful to our flag.
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) August 15, 2017
This is far from the first time Harbaugh has opined on a hot-button topic.
In August of last year, Harbaugh said he didn’t “respect the motivation or the action” behind the decision of his former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, to sit the national anthem out. Not long after, the coach apologized for misspeaking, tweeting that “I support Colin’s motivation. It’s his method of action that I take exception to.”
As noted by the Detroit News, Harbaugh’s opinion of Kaepernick’s stance shifted significantly this spring as he called the still-unsigned quarterback “a hero,” saying “he’s trying to do this for his future kids, for my kids, for all of our kids.”
In April of 2015, not long after taking over the Wolverines, Harbaugh stood strident after a petition drive led by Muslim and Arab students at UM accusing the film “American Sniper” of “[condoning] a lot of anti-Middle Eastern and North African propaganda” led to the university canceling a planned screening. The coach’s response?
Michigan Football will watch “American Sniper”! Proud of Chris Kyle & Proud to be an American & if that offends anybody then so be it!
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) April 9, 2015
After Harbaugh’s show of support, the university reversed its decision.