John Cooper Wears Mask with Image of Kurdistan Flag…but He Won’t Say Why


Staff for Nashville Mayor John Cooper would not say why he wore a COVID-19 face mask Tuesday that had an image of the Kurdistan flag on it.

Cooper generated buzz on Facebook and Twitter after he appeared at a press conference Tuesday and approached a microphone to update Nashville residents about COVID-19. Cooper did not wear the mask as he spoke. He lowered the mask so he could speak clearly into the microphone.

But, as of Wednesday night, Cooper’s reasons for wearing the Kurdistan mask remain unclear. Cooper’s staff did not return The Tennessee Star’s request for comment on the matter.

Cooper attracted worldwide attention for wearing the Kurdish mask.

A Kurdish journalist who said on YouTube that he works in Afghanistan played the clip of Cooper wearing the mask. Meanwhile, The Tennessee Kurdish Community Council and the Kurdish Cultural Center of Illinois, among other Kurdish-oriented Facebook pages, recognized Cooper for the same reason.

The author of another Kurdish-oriented Facebook page said that “because of the enormity of the Kurdish community in Nashville, it is known as Little Kurdistan.”

As The Star reported last week, Nashville’s southeastern area, where many immigrants live, has a large cluster of confirmed COVID-19 cases. The entire county remains closed for business because of the virus.

Chris Song, spokesman for Nashville Mayor John Cooper, said last week that Davidson County officials will still impose restrictions upon all of the county, and not just parts of it.

“Every Nashvillian feels an urge to return to business as normal, and many livelihoods depend on it,” Song said in an email.

“But in order to get our economy back up and running, we must stay the course and reduce the rate of coronavirus infections across all communities here in Nashville.”

Leslie Waller, an epidemiologist with the Metro Nashville Public Health Department, said at a press conference last week that members of the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition have partnered with the county to devise strategies to fight COVID-19 in that one area.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “John Cooper” by John Cooper.







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4 Thoughts to “John Cooper Wears Mask with Image of Kurdistan Flag…but He Won’t Say Why”

  1. Angelito

    This creep is as bad as Briley. Storm council if they even consider passing this 32% tax increase. And, why isn’t Metro furloughing employees?

    He can take that Kurd mask and stuff it. What a creep.

  2. Wolf Woman

    He’s pandering for the Kurdish votes because the home owners of the city are mad and restive. His tone-deaf call for a 32% property tax increase while so many people are out of work and inconvenienced (of course it’s his party that caused the budget shortfall) is typical of progressive petty politicians.

  3. rick

    Cooper is a loser. Briley’s brother.

  4. Kevin

    This is priceless! So, while Cooper repeatedly spits on his Kurdistan flag, he’s also, figuratively speaking, strapping on a political “suicide vest”!