Saturday Night Live host Don Cheadle used his platform and wardrobe choices to send a few pointed messages this weekend.
Cheadle, whose Showtime series Black Monday began airing in January, stepped out to introduce the show’s musical guest Gary Clark Jr. sporting a tee that read “Protect Trans Kids.”
Later, Cheadle closed the show wearing a Soviet hockey jersey with “Trump” on the front and “45” on the back, leaning into Donald Trump’s alleged ties with Russia and Vladimir Putin.
Cheadle didn’t make a statement about his “Protect Trans Kids” shirt at the time, but the gesture was roundly praised on Twitter for his calling attention to a vulnerable, underrepresented segment of the population.
His message of protecting trans people juxtaposed with one about Trump’s duplicity was pointed. Trump and his administration have continually targeted vulnerable trans people with the military ban and rescinding protections for trans kids in schools.
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin, trans activist Charlotte Clymer, the National Center for Transgender Rights, PFLAG were among those who praised Cheadle for sending the message.
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) February 17, 2019
I have always been a fan of @DonCheadle but him wearing a protect trans youth T-shirt & Soviet Union hockey jersey w/ “Trump” & “45” on the back on @nbcsnl have now put me in the super fan category. Subtle, Masterful yet Effective. #Bravo pic.twitter.com/3R6qxZHXu8
— Karamo Brown (@Karamo) February 17, 2019
— Q. Allan Brocka (@allanbrocka) February 17, 2019
Hey @DonCheadle, as a trans woman, I can't emphasize enough how much it means to see you do this on SNL. Thank you for standing strong with trans children. It means the world. <3 https://t.co/MrsAyDNEso
— Charlotte Clymer(@cmclymer) February 17, 2019
— National Center for Transgender Equality (@TransEquality) February 17, 2019
— PFLAG National (@PFLAG) February 17, 2019