On Saturday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell smashed President Donald Trump’s condemnation of NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem in comments the President delivered at a rally in Alabama on Friday night.
Goodell said of Trump’s comments as “divisive” and pointed they show a “lack of respect” for the league and its players.
“The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture,” Goodell said in the statement. “There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month. Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.”
At a rally for Alabama Republican Sen. Luther Strange, Trump pointed that team owners need to dismiss players for kneeling during the national anthem.
The president continued that if fans would “leave the stadium” when players kneel in protest during the national anthem, “I guarantee, things will stop.”
He stated that NFL owners should react to the players by saying, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired. He’s fired!”
“For a week, (that owner would) be the most popular person in this country. Because that’s a total disrespect of our heritage. That’s a total disrespect for everything we stand for,” Trump added.
In 2016, Colin Kaepernick — previously with the San Francisco 49ers, but without a team at the moment — draw attention for denying to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to kickoff.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in August 2016
We will never back down. We no longer can afford to stick to sports. pic.twitter.com/Ec3Bc4qt9h
— DeMaurice Smith (@DeSmithNFLPA) September 23, 2017
— ABC News (@ABC) September 23, 2017