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When was the last time a Saturday Night Live host wore anything memorable? Typically, fashion choices are not the main draw of the sketch show, but host Don Cheadle changed that last night with two very memorable shirts.
First, Cheadle wore a t-shirt saying, “Protect Trans Kids” when introducing musical guest Gary Clark Jr.’s last song of the show. Clark’s music choice, too, was political; his song “This Land,” which Cheadle was introducing, poignantly and pointedly dissects his treatment as a Black man living in “Trump Country.”
Cheadle’s clothing choice comes as protections for trans people in the U.S. are eroding. Just last month, the Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender members of the military to go into effect, preventing many trans people from joining the military while lower courts review arguments.
Cheadle also wore his heart on his sleeve—or, rather, his sleeves, chest, and back—in a political hockey jersey during the closing credits. The jersey, red with the Russian acronym of the USSR on the front, had “45” on each sleeve, and read “Trump” on the back.
Don Cheadle wore a Soviet Union hockey jersey with “Trump” and “45” on the back at the end of SNL after hosting. Shade level: Masterful pic.twitter.com/hrDjPRulXy— Adam Best (@adamcbest) February 17, 2019
It was a more potent and subtle anti-Trump sentiment than Alec Baldwin’s impression, which made yet another appearance last night.
Of course, Twitter users got a kick out of both clothing choices.
OH MY GOD HE WAS WEARING A SHIRT THAT SAID PROTECT TRANS KIDS, AS A TRANSWOMAN IN HER TWENTIES WHO HAS DAILY PROBLEMS WITH STRAIGHT BLACK MEN - I LOVE YOU @DonCheadle #ProtectTransKids #TransKids #SNL— Lena🏳️🌈 (@Shin_Cromartie) February 17, 2019
Don cheadle wearing a shirt that says “protect trans kids” on snl really means a lot to me— zoe (@paramerikate) February 17, 2019
Ellen Ioanes is the FOIA reporter at the Daily Dot, where she covers U.S. politics. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Center for Public Integrity, HuffPost India, and more.