The Carolina Panthers' new owner David Tepper defended NFL players' protests during the national anthem, while lashing out at President Donald Trump's opposition on the matter — and made an odd statement about the president.
On CNBC's “Halftime” interview, Tepper said the focus should be on the good that the players do for the community, instead of the national anthem protests.
“These are some of the most patriotic people and best people. These are great young men," Tepper said. "So to say that [they aren't patriotic] makes me so aggravated and angry. It's just wrong, it's dead wrong.”
The kneeling began when former 49ers player, Colin Kaepernick, took a knee during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial inequality.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 23, 2018
Others have boycotted the NFL games, including a South Florida police union, who boycotted the Miami Dolphins after players took a knee and one raised his fist during the anthem in the preseason opener.
— 7 Sports Xtra (@7SportsXtra) August 10, 2018
Then, Tepper's interview turned toward the president, without mentioning him by name — Instead, calling the president “Howdy-Doody.”
“There's a red-headed guy in D.C. that likes to talk about it, but I don't want to mention his name.” Tepper said.
One odd part — he stated Trump's hair was red, when, in fact, it's not.
Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison. Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade. If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2018
Tepper recited the pledge of allegiance, calling it “one of the most patriotic you can do ... it's about justice for all.”
“Now listen, everybody's standing this season, because I think people understand that it's what you do in the community, it's what you do out here,” Tepper said.
“You've got a lot of people that do a lot of good things. So I think maybe the league could do more, maybe they can maybe they can't, saying how much good the players do,” Tepper said. “Get that message out more.”