Early on Sunday morning, President Trump fired off a series of tweets criticizing the NFL for their lack of action on “anthem protests”.
And, during a rally in Alabama on Saturday, the President told his supporters:
“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. Out! He’s fired’… Some owners going to do that. He’s going to say ‘that guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired’. And that owner, they don’t know it – they don’t know it, they’re friends of mine, many of them, they don’t know it – they’ll be the most popular person for a week.”
His words were not well received by many people. During “Sunday NFL Countdown“, former Jets and Bills coach Rex Ryan told viewers he now regretted campaigning with President Trump:
“Everyone’s always been united. Yeah, the views are different but lemme tell you: I’m pissed off. I’ll be honest with you. Because I supported Donald Trump. When he asked me to introduce him at a rally in Buffalo, I did that. But I’m reading these comments and it’s appalling to me and I’m sure it’s appalling to almost any citizen in our country. It should be.”
Luckily, it seems that the President’s words have only strengthened the resolve for many NFL players. A few hours later, roughly two dozen players knelt during the US anthem before the Jacksonville Jaguar faced off against the Baltimore Ravens for a road game in London.
Moments later, as the band began to play the British national anthem, everyone was standing.
[Photo via Flickr user Gage Skidmore]