MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A white Wisconsin legislator who posted a racially charged meme on his Facebook page says he meant nothing racist by it.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports the meme was posted to Republican state Rep. Ed Brooks’ page in November 2016. It shows black men leaping atop a smashed police car. The meme reads “Want to stop riots? Play the national anthem. They’ll all sit down.”
The wording alludes to NFL players, many of them black, who have protested police shootings by kneeling during the national anthem before games.
Brooks told The Associated Press that the meme “was posted in humor” and he’d “hate to see somebody take it out of context.” Brooks says he simply meant that people who riot probably wouldn’t stand for the anthem.
Brooks, of Reedsburg, was first elected to the Assembly in 2008. He didn’t run for re-election this fall.