By: O’Niel Barrington Blair
This morning on Twitter, President Donald Trump criticized protests that took place across NFL Sunday. Some players have been linking arms, kneeling or just not appearing on the field during the national anthem. They’re protesting against police brutality and for unity against racism.
The protests received renewed attention after Trump denounced this form of protest during a speech in Alabama last 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,” Trump said.
He said NFL owners should fire players who refuse to stand at attention.
Collin Kaepernick, a football player and activist, first began kneeling last year. Some athletes joined Kaepernick over the past year, but Trump’s words spurred renewed focus on this form of non-violent protest.
Trump said that the refusal to do anything other than stand at attention during the national anthem is disrespectful towards the country and the veterans who fought for it.
“It is about respect for our country, flag and national anthem. NFL must respect this,” tweeted Trump.
Last Sunday several teams including the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans made demonstrations during the national anthem. Robert Kraft, Chairman & CEO of the New England Patriots, issued a statement on Twitter about his team’s right to non-violent protest. He said that although politics pulls people apart, sports should pull them together.
” There is no greater unifier in this country than sports, and unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics,” tweeted Kraft.