As has become the custom since Colin Kaepernick began kneeling for the national anthem before the 2016 season, a handful of NFL players protested on Sunday by either taking a knee, raising a fist during the pregame ceremony, or staying in the locker room while the anthem played.
And though the massive league-wide protests from a month ago seem to have died down in recent weeks, President Donald Trump isn’t content to let the issue lie.
This is what he tweeted Monday morning.
Two dozen NFL players continue to kneel during the National Anthem, showing total disrespect to our Flag & Country. No leadership in NFL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2017
The league owners met last week, and part of their agenda was to discuss the national anthem controversy. While at least one owner, Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, was reportedly adamant about forcing all players to stand during the anthem, the league declined to mandate that players must stand at attention.
A week later, however, the NFL is reportedly done responding to Trump’s tweets on the matter.
NFL and players seemed to be in agreement at NYC meetings last week that the best way to handle these tweets is to ignore them. https://t.co/Gdnh99mz3P
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 23, 2017
As Sports Illustrated wrote last week: “There was an agreement in the room that some of the events of the last few weeks were certainly bad for business, as was the mudslinging with, among others, the president. … There are politics involved here too, and those can get complicated. And what if Donald Trump goes off again on Twitter or at some rally? The hope, I’ve heard, is that his repeated needling of the NFL will lead to future salvos losing their effect. But it’s hard to count on that.”
At those owners meetings, the league and the players released a joint statement saying they planned to work together “to promote positive social change.”
New from the NFL and NFLPA pic.twitter.com/lMQMhlDGAB
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) October 17, 2017
But Jones continued to criticize those who want to highlight police brutality against Black people.
“There’s no question that the league is suffering negative things from these protests,” Jones said, according to NBC Philadelphia. “I’m first and foremost a proponent of making the league strong and make us have as many people watching the game as we can. … Let’s not do it in a way that tears down the strength of the NFL.”
According to the Associated Press, seven Seattle Seahawks players protested on Sunday, and about a half-dozen San Francisco 49ers players did the same. Vice President Mike Pence walked out of a game a few weeks ago that involved a group of 49ers protesting.
Last week, Trump created a petition asking supporters to stand with him in his battle against the NFL, although a recent poll found that six in 10 Americans believed Trump was wrong to criticize the players.
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