Trump Slams NFL for Not Making Players Stand for Anthem

“Total disrespect for our great country!” the president tweeted.


(Reuters) — President Donald Trump criticized the National Football League on Wednesday for not forcing players to stand for the national anthem, firing back after league officials meeting in New York chose instead to effectively back players’ right to political activism.

“Total disrespect for our great country!” tweeted Trump, who has repeatedly denounced players in the country’s most popular sports league as unpatriotic for kneeling during the anthem in a demonstration against racism.

After the first day of the NFL’s two-day autumn meeting of team owners, players and their union’s leaders in Manhattan, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters they talked about “the issues that our players have been trying to bring attention to. About issues in our communities to make our communities better.”

The small but growing number of players kneeling during the national anthem are protesting the killing by police of unarmed Black men and boys across the United States, as well as racial disparities in the criminal justice system. More than half of all NFL players are Black.

Trump wants the league to suspend players if they kneel during pregame renditions of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” His vice president, Mike Pence, walked out of a stadium in Indianapolis this month as players knelt, which Trump said he had instructed Pence to do.

On Tuesday, Goodell appeared less interested in stifling the protests, despite the president’s views, and rather hailed the character of the players, saying that he wanted to help their political activism.

The commissioner said the league will meet again with players, probably in the next two weeks, and spend more time talking to reporters when the gathering concludes on Wednesday.

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  • Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey

    He really does hate us for our freedoms, doesn’t he? What does he think that flag stands for, if not the right to speak your mind without fear of reprisal from the rich and powerful????

    • Tail wagging the dog? Who’s paying these players? Who is buying the tickets and (measurably) tuning into the advertisement-filled game broadcasts? Wouldn’t, shouldn’t the Nat’l Football League be a bit interested in a broad appeal to all American fans?
      Various dullard players have recently made statements about how fans who’re put off by anthem protests should stay away(!), somewhat along the lines of recent dullard political campaigners calling voters leaning toward the opponent’s view “deplorable” or “irredeemable”, or plainly stating that “I know 47% of the people won’t vote for me.”
      My bosses pay me to do things I disagree with, and they forbid and disallow many types of childish, virtue-signaling political activism in the workplace. Are they vilely violating my Constitutional rights?

      • No one goes to — or watches — a game for the sole purpose of witnessing the National Anthem. In fact, until this controversy, the Networks routinely cut away from coverage during the Anthem in order to allow their talking heads to comment, and all-too-many spectators in attendance used the time to visit the concession stand or restroom, talk among themselves, etc. If someone is offended by someone else’s silent actions during the Anthem, all they have to do is to look at something else.

      • Who is to say standing for the flag – completely unrelated to the affair at hand – could not be considered childish virtue signaling political activism? Employers can require and forbid all types of activities while “working” this is true. Employers can also take an interest in things their employees believe are socially significant and support the efforts the employees put forward to bring attention to or address those issues. I only wish the fans who object to kneeling – not disrespecting or giving the finger – kneeling – during the anthem were as loud and active in coming together with the people in their communities who would like to see justice for all and the unwarranted murders by policemen end.

  • I saw Kellyanne Conway — oops, just threw up a little in my mouth — claiming that the protests were actually against Trump, not against the National Anthem or Old Glory. If everyone agreed on that mischaracterization, no one would stand during the National Anthem.


      GRANNYBUNNY–We have natural DISASTER in California, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Texas, and
      Number45 is worried about football players? What’s up with THAT?

  • Let us not forget the praise laid on Vladimir Putin by our President T-rump The Russian. If T-rump had his way, the US would be under the same rules/laws as Russia. What free speech? What marches? I hate to say it but the US is sliding that way as we speak. No Republicans (except for 1 or 2) or Democrats are speaking out to stop him! Soon the US will be known as The United States of Russia under President Donald Trump.

      • I totally agree! And, make every Republican retire that’s afraid to tell T-rump the truth for fear he’ll talk bad about them on Twitter! Sticks and stone, blah, blah, blah. Congress is in desperate need of a “snake oil salesman” peddling “backbones”.

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