SAN JOSE (CBS / AP) – Marie Tillman, the widow of former NFL player and Army Ranger Pat Tillman, says that her husband’s service “should never be politicized in a way that divides us.”

Marie Tillman released a statement to CNN on Monday after President Donald Trump retweeted an account referencing Pat Tillman and using the hashtag #StandForOurAnthem.

President Donald Trump retweeted a post against national anthem protests that showed a picture of former NFL player and Army Ranger Pat Tillman, who died during the war in Afghanistan. (Twitter)

President Donald Trump retweeted a post against national anthem protests that showed a picture of former NFL player and Army Ranger Pat Tillman, who died during the war in Afghanistan. (Twitter)

Trump has criticized NFL players for kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest police treatment of blacks and other social injustices. More than 200 NFL players knelt or sat during the anthem this weekend.

Tillman walked away from the NFL to join the Army after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004.

“As a football player and soldier, Pat inspired countless Americans to unify,” Marie Tillman said. “It is my hope that his memory should always remind people that we must come together. Pat’s service, along with that of every man and woman’s service, should never be politicized in a way that divides us. We are too great of a country for that. Those that serve fight for the American ideals of freedom, justice and democracy. They and their families know the cost of that fight. I know the very personal costs in a way I feel acutely every day.”

Tillman grew up in the Bay Area and played football for Leland High School in San Jose.

TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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