President Trump created a firestorm last week when he attacked NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem before the game.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired,’ ” Trump said during an Alabama rally on Friday. He increased the intensity of his criticism on Sunday by aiming straight at NFL players by tweeting “If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast,” he tweeted. “Fire or suspend!”
The president couldn’t let it go, he followed that tweet up by demanding that sports fans shouldn’t “condone players” that don’t stand during the national anthem and called for the NFL to change its policy.
Trump’s words ended up unifying players, coaches, and owners who have since spoken out calling the president’s actions divisive and disappointing. Many NFL players this past Sunday knelt during the national anthem and even more locked arms with the teammates. Coaches and owners were on the field arm in arm with the NFL teams showing solidarity.
On Monday morning, the president was already responding to the tense situation. Trump said that fans who booed NFL players who refused to stand during the anthem were just demanding respect for the country’s flag.
“Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday (which was a small percentage of total),” Trump tweeted. “These are fans who demand respect for our Flag!”
The president also attempted to frame the real issue in the controversy. He said that it centers on respect for the country, flag and national anthem instead of race.
“The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race,” Trump tweeted. “It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!”
What do you think of Trump’s response to Sunday’s expression of solidarity?
Credit: The Hill