RNC 2020: Who is Nicholas Sandmann who sued media for coverage of confrontation with Native American man?

Sandmann began his speech by thanking Trump for the chance to let him share his story which he felt matters so much to this November’s election

                            RNC 2020: Who is Nicholas Sandmann who sued media for coverage of confrontation with Native American man?
Nick Sandmann (KC Noland/Wikipedia)

Does Donald Trump resonate with Nick Sandmann, a teenager who was defamed by the media in 2019? In his Republican National Convention Speech 2020 on Tuesday, August 25, Nicholas Sandmann — the Kentucky high school student who was spotted in a viral video in a red ‘Make America Great Again’ hat standing in front of a Native American activist outside the Lincoln Memorial last year — accused the media of trying to “cancel” him because of his support for POTUS.

Sandmann took to twitter to post the video of his RNC speech. He wrote, "I appreciate it Donald Trump!"



Sandmann began his speech by thanking Trump for the chance to let him share his story which he felt matters so much to this November’s election. He said, “I’m the teenager who was defamed by the media after an encounter with a group of protesters on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial last year. In 2019, I attended the March for Life in Washington DC, where I demonstrated in defense of the unborn. Later that day, I bought a Make America Great Again hat because our President, Donald Trump, has distinguished himself as one of the most pro-life presidents in the history of our country, and I wanted to express my support for him, too.” He continued, “Looking back now, how could I have possibly imagined that the simple act of putting on that red hat would unleash hate from left and make myself the target of network and cable news networks nationwide.”

A demonstrator wearing a MAGA hat and a face mask gathers outside of Atilis Gym on May 20, 2020, in Bellmawr, New Jersey (Getty Images)

Yahoo reports about the incident that took place in January 2019. Sandmann who was a junior at Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, Ky, a suburb of Cincinnati, was reportedly seen facing off silently with Nathan Phillips, a Native American protester, outside the Lincoln Memorial. This was taking place in the backdrop of the Indigenous Peoples March where Sandmann, wearing MAGA cap, reportedly had an expression that many viewers interpreted as a smirk. In his statement, he reportedly said he was merely trying to project calm. Yahoo underscores that several students made a “tomahawk chop” gesture that Native Americans consider racist while being in March.

In his speech at RNC, Sandmann mentions how at that time he had found himself “face to face with Nathan Phillips and other professional protestors”. He said, “They were looking to turn me into the latest poster child showing why Trump is bad, while the media portrayed me as an aggressor with a relentless smirk on my face.” However, he claimed that this was not reality. “In reality, the video confirms I was standing with my hands behind my back and an awkward smile on my face that had two thoughts. One, don’t do anything that might further agitate the man banging a drum in my face. And two, I was trying to follow a family friend’s advice, never to do anything to embarrass your family, your school, or your community.” Mentioning how he was portrayed by the media after being yelled at by Mr Phillips he said, “Before I knew what was happening, it was over. One of Mr Phillips' fellow agitators yelled out, “We got him. It’s all right here on video. And we won, Grandpa. What I thought was a strange encounter, quickly developed into a major news story complete with video footage.”

At the time the incident occurred in 2019, POTUS backed Sandmann and other students and tweeted in 2019. “Nick Sandmann and the students of Covington have become symbols of Fake News and how evil it can be. They have captivated the attention of the world, and I know they will use it for the good - maybe even to bring people together. It started off unpleasant, but can end in a dream!”



In his RNC speech, Sandmann accused the media of being unfair and peddling anti-trump narrative though. “They did so without researching the full video of the incident, without ever investigating Mr Phillips’s motives." He then accused the media of “advancing their anti-Christian, anti-conservative, anti-Donald Trump narrative”.  
Many came in support of Sandmann after his speech on Tuesday, August 25. A user tweeted, “I knew he is an intelligent Young Man that was a phenomenal speech well-spoken well said to the point lastly when he put on that Hat that was SUPERB meaning they didn't put him down HE STOOD UP WITH HIS BELIEFS TRUE WARRIOR with GUTS .. TAKE A HUGE BOW.”



Another concurred, “Thank you for your courage, your fortitude, your endurance, and your love for God and Country. You are a shining light to all young people. From a Mom.”



Many hailed him for speaking against "cancel" culture, “Your parents must be so proud of you. You did great. Thank you for being a great example to all of the kids your age facing the "cancel culture".”


Some users even lashed out at the media. "An entire media judged Nick Sandmann not on the basis his actions but on the the color of his skin and a red cap. They refused to even watch the entire video before calling for violence against him. If anybody knows what being a target of systemic racism is, Nick Sandmann does."



Sandmann’s RNC speech and his support by the Internet make one wonder if he has any previous connections to Trump and who he really was?

The confrontational student?

As reported by CNN, Sandmann, a student at Covington Catholic High School, hit national headlines when he was in Washington on January 18, 2019, for the annual March for Life rally. After the widely reported confrontation, some media organizations targeted Sandmann. However, after an investigation in February 2019, the Covington Diocese released a report exonerating the students of which Sandmann was part of. But meanwhile, many media firms had already misrepresented the incident. As a result, what followed was a number of multi-million dollar defamation lawsuits against American news agencies by Covington students.

At that time, Sandmann too sued media organizations and had received settlements for undisclosed amounts from both CNN and the Washington Post who earlier reported the incident. New York Post reported that the Washington Post settled a $250 million suit with Sandmann over its botched coverage of his 2019 encounter with a Native American elder. The whole incident was regarded as an "explosive convergence of race, religion and ideological beliefs" The New York Times and a Vox editorial called it the "nation's biggest story".

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