“Small Town” singer John Mellencamp is drawing criticism for a game day photo that appears to show him sitting and eating popcorn during the national anthem.
The Indianapolis Colts were hosting the Philadephia Eagles, but before kickoff, someone sent the image of Mellencamp to OutKick 360’s Dan Dakich. The snapshot, widely circulated online, appears to show the 71-year-old musician sitting while most of the other adults in the section stood with their hands over their hearts during “The Star Spangled Banner.”
“Mellencamp is one of America’s Greatest Frauds…always has been,” Dakich said in the tweet caption.
Mellencamp is one of America’s Greatest Frauds…always has been https://t.co/Bhjpfll97b
— Dan Dakich (@dandakich) November 21, 2022
The rock star is well known for supporting former San Francisco 49ers quarterback-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick, who helped spearhead the campaign to have players kneel during the national anthem in seasons past as a form of protest.
In 2018, Mellencamp appeared on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and took a knee while raising his fist in the air after performing the song “Easy Target.”
The sarcastic song includes lyrics that refer to black people being “created equal, equally beneath me and you.”
“Taking the knee started purely and simply as a protest of racial and social injustice,” Mellencamp told the Associated Press in 2018. “Sadly, it was politicized by the [Trump] administration. The song is simple and the protest is pure.”
Mellencamp has long been a liberal, lending campaign songs to Democrat Hillary Clinton and insisting Republican John McCain had to stop using his music.
In 2020, the recording artist released “A Pawn in the White Man’s Game” on his website and YouTube. The track was a remake of the 1964 Bob Dylan song “Only a Pawn in Their Game,” which commemorated the killing of civil rights activist Medgar Evers.
Mellencamp’s redo included lyrics focusing on racial conflicts stemming from the death of George Floyd in police custody. YouTube later removed the music video for violating community guidelines as it featured footage of violent altercations between protestors and police from over the years.
The “Jack & Diane” singer released a statement at the time, saying, “For my entire life I have seen the mistreatment of minorities in our country. We have gone too far with the shameful killing and genocide…from the Native Americans to where we find ourselves today. In my own way I have tried to address these issues in song.”