Don Cheadle wore a shirt that read "Protect Trans Kids" while hosting Saturday Night Live

By Rachel DeSantis
February 17, 2019 01:07 PM
Credit: NBC

Don Cheadle used his time in the Saturday Night Live spotlight to offer support to transgender children — and a dig at President Donald Trump.

The Oscar-nominated actor, 54, hosted the long-running comedy show this weekend and wore a shirt with the words “Protect Trans Kids” emblazoned across the front as he introduced musical guest Gary Clark Jr.

Clark Jr., in his second performance of the night, then sang his song “This Land,” an anthem against racism and prejudice, with lyrics including, “I remember they used to tell me…We don’t want your kind/We think you’s a dog born/F— you, I’m America’s son/This is where I come from.”

And that wasn’t all. Cheadle also appeared onstage in a red and white Soviet Union hockey jersey that featured “Trump” and No. 45 on the back. (Trump is the 45th president of the United States.)

The Avengers: Endgame star’s fashion choices were a hit on social media, as celebrities praised his decision to draw attention to the plight of transgender children.

“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,” Queer Eye’s culture expert Karamo Brown wrote on Twitter. “Subtle, Masterful yet Effective. #Bravo.”

Added actress Laverne Cox, “Thank you @DonCheadle. You rock!”

The National Center for Transgender Equality also celebrated the star, proclaiming transgender children “have a (super)hero in their corner now.”

The Hotel Rwanda star thanked his supporters on Twitter Sunday, as well as Saturday Night Live for allowing him to “throw shade.”

“I awoke to so much support and love!! thank you @nbcsnl for the opportunity to play and pay respect and throw shade in an historic space in an historic time,” he wrote. “Keep fighting, y’all. evil grows in the dark.”

Cheadle has long been known for his support of various charities and causes, and in 2008 funded a humanitarian aid organization called Not on Our Watch with George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and others.

He also published a book of the same name shedding light on the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan in 2007, and serves as the United Nations’ Global Environment Goodwill Ambassador.