Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of the former president, has ignited controversy with a recent Instagram post during the Super Bowl, drawing sharp criticism for what many are deeming a racist and misogynistic attack on former First Lady Michelle Obama.
In the contentious post, Trump Jr. shared an image of Levon Kirkland, a former linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, with a caption suggesting the photo was a “Michelle Obama rookie card,” accompanied by a remark indicating it was meant as Super Bowl-related humor.
Adding a layer of contentiousness, Trump Jr. preemptively addressed potential backlash by noting in his caption that the post was intended as a joke, although he ambiguously added that he was “not 100% sure,” leaving room for interpretation and further stoking the flames of controversy.
This incident is not an isolated occurrence for Trump Jr., who has a history of engaging in provocative rhetoric, particularly on his podcast “Triggered,” where he has entertained various conspiracy theories about Michelle Obama. These theories have included deeply offensive and transphobic narratives, some of which were previously amplified by the late comedian Joan Rivers.
The theme of these theories, often revolving around unfounded and derogatory assertions about Obama’s gender identity, has found resonance within certain fringe groups, including QAnon adherents. Mike Rothschild, a specialist in conspiracy theories, highlighted in a 2022 post on X (formerly Twitter) how these baseless claims about Obama play into broader “trans panic” narratives prevalent in some extremist circles.
This latest jab by Trump Jr. has also been linked back to earlier instances where figures like conspiracy theorist Alex Jones propagated similar unfounded theories about Michelle Obama. The post has been met with widespread condemnation on social media, with commentators like Aaron Rupar calling out the “insane levels of racist misogyny” inherent in the comparison.
Others have echoed this sentiment, pointing out the embarrassing nature of such attacks and drawing parallels between Trump Jr.’s behavior and that of his father, suggesting a continuation of a troubling pattern of public discourse.