Meanwhile, one Alabama player — identified as running back Bo Scarbrough — was heard yelling ‘F— Trump’ before the game, Sporting News reported, showing video of the team apparently walking off the field after pregame warmups.
Trump was announced to a varied combination of cheers and jeers as he entered the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in a dark suit and red tie. Waving and smiling to the crowd of thousands, Trump walked onto the field to hear the Zac Brown Band sing the anthem.
With his right hand on his heart, Trump smiled and occasionally sang along with the band.
Both the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide stayed back in the locker room as the anthem played, which is common among college football teams. They stormed the field shortly afterwards.
But Trump left the game before rapper Kendrick Lamar started his halftime performance nearby.
Plans for the president’s visit had been met with criticism from the NAACP.
Atlanta’s NAACP chapter said on its Facebook page that fans inside the stadium for the College Football Playoff title should send Trump a message by waving white towels “simulating a blizzard.”
“We will not let the President’s visit go without a response. If you are lucky enough to attend the game, we encourage you to bring a white towel to wave simulating a blizzard while the president is in the packed stadium,” the group said. “Trump supporters mockingly call the opposition snowflakes, but when we come together we create a mighty storm.”
Trump’s appearance at the game followed a speech he gave in Nashville earlier Monday to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Convention.
“In every decision we make, we are honoring America’s proud farming legacy,” the president said during the event touting his administration’s accomplishments. The “American dream,” the president said, “is roaring back to life.”
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