The season opener of the National Football League (NFL) season kicked off on Thursday night, the same night of President Donald Trump’s rally.
Trump has not shied away from commenting on the issue of the NFL players protest during the national anthem.
On the season’s opening night, the president took another blow at Nike’s decision to use Colin Kaepernick, former 49ers quarterback, as one of the faces for their “Just Do It” campaign.
After his rally in Montana on Thursday, Trump said, “I don’t like what Nike did. I don’t think it’s appropriate what they did,” “Fox & Friends Weekend” co-host, Pete Hegseth, reported.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 7, 2018
The president addressed the issue of whether or not standing for the anthem is in the NFL contract.
“Honestly I don’t know what the NFL is doing from. What I understand it’s in contract that you have to stand for the national anthem. They have somewhere it says you will stand. You will have the helmet on the ground and hand on the heart. That’s what it says. I don’t know why they’re not enforcing it and in cases where they don’t have it, they have a new thing where they don’t have to do that. You don’t have to kneel. You can go back into the locker room. I think that’s worse than kneeling in a certain way. You are going back. That shows you just have no respect for the anthem or the flag.”
Although the players kneeling during the anthem started when Kaepernick took a knee against police brutality, angry consumers have called it unpatriotic, which is the stance the president also has on the issue.
“I honor the flag. I honor our national anthem. And most of the people in this country feel the same way.”
The president kicked off the day the next morning tweeting, “What was Nike thinking?”
What was Nike thinking?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 7, 2018
Hall of Fame NFL coach Tony Dungy previously said the national anthem is not the scene for the players to protest, instead, they should use “a much bigger platform” to voice their concerns.
Dungy told Fox News:
“I know a lot of these young men, and they are trying to be a voice for people that don’t have a voice. They’re speaking up, and that’s what the Bible tells us to do, so I respect that. And I respect Jim Brown’s position. I think if I were still coaching, what I would do is tell my players, ‘Let’s come in and talk. Tell me your issues and what you’re upset about. Give me some solutions, and I’m going to give you 10 minutes of my press conference every week so you can get that voice. If you want to be a voice, I’m going to give you a platform. Let’s work together on this, and maybe not use the three minutes before the game during the national anthem. Let’s use the time when you can get your voice really heard.'”