On Friday, during a political rally in Alabama, President Donald Trump made his stance on protest and the First Amendment clear: he’s not a fan, particularly in regards to NFL athletes.
“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’s fired,’ ” said the 45th president of the United States to a raucous audience.
Last season, Colin Kaepernick, previously a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, began kneeling as a form of protest during the national anthem. It’s worth noting that players are not required to stand during the pregame tradition. His silent protest placed him at odds with the NFL and despite Trump not mentioning Kaepernick’s name, the act — and continued controversy — rubbed him the wrong way.
Trump continued: “When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they’re playing our great national anthem, the only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium,” he said. “I guarantee things will stop.”
Although the NFL did not mention Trump by name, a statement from the organization was released today stating:
“The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. 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.”
In recent weeks Present Donald Trump has made his opinions on free speech clear: If you publicly disrespect the U.S. (or his presidency), you should be fired from your job.
After their NBA championship win this year, the Warriors, like previous winning teams, were invited to the White House.
Trump took a less coded jab at another athlete on Saturday morning: the Warriors’ Stephen Curry. “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!” he tweeted.
Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
In February, Curry, in a backhanded comment, referred to Trump as an “ass.” It was unclear whether the Warriors would visit the White House. However, Curry didn’t mince words when asked about the possible visit this week, “I don’t want to go,” said Curry while addressing the press earlier this week.
Stephen Curry doesn’t hold back on whether he’ll vote to visit White House. pic.twitter.com/n2PBAtYQdA
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) September 22, 2017
Cleveland Cavaliers superstar, Lebron James, also had a response to the ordeal.
“U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!” he tweeted.
U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 23, 2017
Many more in the sports world have tweeted their support for the NFL, Kaepernick, and Curry.
#Kaepernick we riding with you bro ✊🏾
— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) September 23, 2017
We will never back down. We no longer can afford to stick to sports. pic.twitter.com/Ec3Bc4qt9h
— DeMaurice Smith (@DeSmithNFLPA) September 23, 2017
The behavior of the President is unacceptable and needs to be addressed. If you do not Condemn this divisive Rhetoric you are Condoning it!!
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) September 23, 2017
It’s a shame and disgrace when you have the President of the US calling citizens of the country sons of a bitches.
— Bishop Sankey (@BishopSankey) September 23, 2017
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