Trump Calls For NFL Boycott Over Player Protests

The Washington Post reports:

President Trump on Sunday morning renewed his demand that NFL owners fire or suspend players who kneel during the national anthem in protest, again urging that fans should boycott the sport to force change.

The tweets continue a three-day crusade by the president to pressure the league to fire players who have taken a knee in an effort to protest police violence against minorities. Trump has poured fuel on the flame of a simmering culture war and has further pushed sports deep into the political arena.

Trump seemed to suddenly fixate on the issue again during a rally in Alabama on Friday night, in which he suggested that coaches should get the “son of a b—-” players off the field if they continued to kneel. The comments prompted swift backlash from players, the league and coaches, many of whom condemned Trump’s comments.

From the New York Times:

The fight has struck a chord with many of Mr. Trump’s core supporters, some of whom applauded him on social media for his stance. But it drew harsh denunciations from many prominent African-American players, including LeBron James, and an unusually strong rebuke from Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the N.F.L., whose owners include many donors to, and friends of, the president.

Mr. Trump struck back at Mr. Goodell on Saturday evening, nearly 12 hours after he had first raised the topic on Twitter, tweeting that the commissioner’s statement was “trying to justify the total disrespect certain players show to our country.” “Tell them to stand!” Mr. Trump added.

Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, who is a close friend of Mr. Trump’s and who has spent the night at the White House and ridden with him on Air Force One, issued a pointed statement on Sunday in which he said he was “deeply disappointed with the tone of the comments made by the president” at the rally, and defended players’ right to express themselves.