Kneel (For) America – ‘Get That SOB Off The Field Right Now’

America

US President Donald Trump says it is a privilege in America for blacks, or others less fortunate, to be earning millions of dollars in the NFL or other sports leagues.

Over the weekend, Trump protested against players who denounce racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem, by a series of tweets and remarks, calling them “sons of b – -“ and people who don’t “respect America”.

President Trump told a crowd in Alabama on Friday: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘get that son of a b**** off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. ‘

Owner of New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, criticized his old friend Trump, saying he is “deeply disappointed” by the comments.

americaabc News reports:

“There is no greater unifier in this country than sports, and unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics,” Kraft said in a statement tweeted by the Patriots.

The team’s CEO added that he supports players’ rights “to peacefully [effect] social change.”

“I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal,” the statement said. “Our players are intelligent, thoughtful, and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is impactful.”

The public disagreement comes only months after the Patriots made a formal visit to the White House in April during which Kraft called Trump a “very good friend.”

Kraft’s comments came shortly after President Donald Trump on Sunday morning turned his attention to NFL fans in his feud with the league over players who kneel in protest during the national anthem, saying many people “stay away” from the games “because they love our country.”

The president also suggested that if fans refuse to go to games due to the protests, “you will see change fast.”

Trump’s tweets Sunday came just a couple of hours before a series of NFL games scheduled for the day begin.

Earlier, on Saturday night, the president slammed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for speaking out against Trump’s condemnation of kneeling players and statement that team owners should fire those players.

Goodell is “trying to justify the total disrespect certain players show to our country,” Trump tweeted.

Goodell did not mention the president by name in his statement earlier today.

“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.”

NFL players across the league and their union — and even some team officials — were more direct in their response to Trump’s criticism Friday night of the handful of NFL players who have kneeled or sat on the bench during the national anthem performed before games over the past two seasons. The practice was most famously done by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick, who is currently unsigned, began kneeling in the preseason in 2016 as a sign of protest over the treatment of blacks in the U.S.

Trump, speaking at a rally in Alabama on Friday, said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of the NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now?'”

“You know, some owner … is going to say, ‘That guy who disrespects our flag, he’s fired,'” the president said to thunderous applause and cheers.

The president of the NFL Players Union, which represents current and former players, released a statement on Saturday: “The balance between the rights of every citizen in our great country gets crossed when someone is told to just ‘shut up and play.'”

Union President DeMaurice Smith acknowledged in his statement that “the peaceful demonstrations by some of our players” haven’t been universally supported, but “have generated a wide array of responses.”

But, he added, “Those opinions are protected speech and a freedom that has been paid for by the sacrifice of men and women throughout history … No man or woman should ever have to choose a job that forces them to surrender their rights.”

Hours later Trump fired back at his critics, tweeting that it was a “privilege” for athletes to earn a lucrative career in professional sports.

San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York weighed in Saturday afternoon, called the president’s comments “callous and offensive” and “contradictory to this great country stands for.”

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross did not refer to the president directly, but said in a statement the country “needs unifying leadership right now, not more divisiveness.”

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll released a lengthy statement on Saturday evening supporting players’ right to protest.

“In this incredibly polarizing time, there’s no longer a place to sit silently. It’s time to take a stand,” Carroll said. “We stand for love and justice and civility. We stand for our players and their constitutional rights, just as we stand for equality for all people.”

Read More: Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft criticizes friend Trump over his ‘disappointing’ NFL remarks


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