NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called out President Donald Trump on Saturday for his comments on players who kneel during the national anthem at football games.
At a campaign rally for Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) in Alabama on Friday, the president took direct aim at NFL owners who are letting the protests go unchecked:
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“We’re proud of our country. We respect our flag. Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners when someone disrespects our flag to say, ‘Get that son of a b***h off the field right now … he’s fired!'”
Now, the commissioner has responded in a public statement tweeted out by the league’s vice president of communications, Brian McCarthy, to the president’s call to fire players over the protests:
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.
Then, he accused the president of being “divisive”:
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.
Goodell isn’t appreciating how divisive the national anthem protests are to the millions of Americans whose loved ones fought and died in wars to protect the flag. He also isn’t respecting the belief of many that the flag and the national anthem come before everyone’s differences and that paying respect to it is the ultimate expression of national loyalty and unity.Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
Instead, Goodell is merely confirming what many have suspected all along: that the NFL is giving players a pass on the national anthem protests because of the “social justice warrior” nature. If players were protesting against Obamacare or on behalf of any conservative cause, then this discussion would have ended a long time ago, and it definitely would have resulted in some firings.Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
Apparently, Goodell is perfectly fine running down the NFL and bleeding ratings along the way. He is, after all, allowed to speak his mind, as are the NFL players who can’t wait until after the game to express their political views.
That’s OK, millions of Americans are able to express their views, too … with their remote controls.