Trump Slams NFL for Not Making Players Stand for Anthem

U.S. 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 criticized NFL players as unpatriotic for kneeling during the anthem.

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.”

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.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) takes a moment prior to the game against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX, USA, September 10, 2017. (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY)


Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence stand during the national anthem prior to the start of an NFL football game between the Indiana Colts and the San Francisco 49ers at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana on Oct. 8, 2017. (White House/Myles Cullen/Handout via REUTERS)

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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