- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 19, 2020

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson responded to a tweet from President Trump over the weekend, setting off a firestorm of reactions from fans and players.

Jackson, the reigning NFL MVP, tweeted “Truzz Trump” in response to the president, who initially complimented the 23-year-old with a tweet. Trump tweeted “really nice to see this and, what a great pick!” following a tweet from Jackson in which the quarterback shared a video of his former college teammate and fellow first-rounder Jaire Alexander reacting excitedly to the Ravens selecting Jackson 32nd overall on draft night in 2018.

Jackson’s tweet prompted more than 4,000 replies to the quarterback, including from his own teammates and other NFL players. Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley tweeted a GIF of a child laughing and then crying, while right tackle Orlando Brown replied with a picture of Wendy Williams looking shocked.

Houston Texans receiver Kenny Stills, known for taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racial inequality, tweeted just “???” to Jackson.

“Truzz,” also spelled as “truss,” became the Ravens’ rallying cry throughout the 2019 season. Not to be confused with “trust,” Truzz was used as an affirmation or an emphatic acknowledgment. Last week, Jackson even shared a photo of a tattoo across his chest, a collage that included the word “truzz.”

Hours later, Jackson appeared to create some separation from his tweet. He quoted-tweet a fan’s comment defending the quarterback and replied, “Love you” and included a purple heart emoji.

The fan, whose username is Perfectly Imperfect, shared an image from Urban Dictionary, which defines “truss” as slang for “I gotchu,” “I agree” or “Bet that.”

“For all the ‘folk’ not ‘woke’ on slang … this is what @Lj_era8 was saying,” she said. “ … he agrees it was a great pick and having Jaire support him was good to see see how that works Simma down now! Whew lord”

Jackson is far from the first athlete whose interactions with the president were taken as an endorsement. Former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady displayed a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker in 2015, though told Howard Stern recently that he didn’t want to get “into the whole political thing” when he was asked to speak at the Republican Convention in 2016.

Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki caught flack for donning a MAGA hat when the World Series champions were honored at the White House. Suzuki, who also hugged Trump, defended the gesture by telling USA Today he was “just trying to have some fun.”

In January, Redskins running back Derrius Guice tweeted a photo of him and President Trump in the Oval Office with a caption that fired back at critics who scorned him for uploading a picture of him and vice president Mike Pence when the running back visited the White House with his alma mater, LSU, following the Tigers’ National Championship victory this year.

“They gone get salty … but I don’t get into politics,” Guice tweeted. “All I know is I come from nothing, and it will always be an honor to meet a president of the United States! God Bless everyone”

On Saturday, Guice responded to Jackson’s tweet: “Lmao!!! Big Truss”


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