Donald Trump, ever the champion of issues of public image, and forever not the champion of the working class people he is supposed to represent as the president of the United States, had a few choice words to offer about the NFL last Friday night.
He, like so many other haughty right-wing conservatives, was angry with some NFL players’ decision to take a knee during the national anthem at their respective games as a form of protest against racial injustice.
In a vulgar tirade, he told a crowd gathered to support Republican Senate candidate Luther Strange that such players should be fired, saying:
‘Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now; He is fired?”‘
Now, echoing the comments of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who called the president’s comments “divisive,” the owners of the New York Giants — from Trump’s home state — have spoken out against the belligerent president.
In a joint statement reported upon by Yahoo News, the pair, John Mara and Steve Tisch, slammed the president while simultaneously defending the character of the NFL players he sought to drag through the mud.
Mara and Tisch commented:
‘Comments like we heard last night from the president are inappropriate, offensive and divisive. We are proud of our players, the vast majority of whom use their NFL platform to make a positive difference in our society.’
As mentioned, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell commented similarly, pointing to the “failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities” on the president’s part indicated by his remarks.
The players’ actions aren’t hurting anyone, and the issue they are working to bring awareness to — the plight of African-Americans and other minorities in the U.S. — is serious and isn’t going away.
Trump doesn’t care, and even though he has literally disrespected veterans time and time again in the past, now he’s going to pretend to care enough about them to presume to speak on their behalf and say that not standing for the flag they fought for is gravely disrespectful.
The president has a few allies in the NFL, but they have been apparently smart enough to keep their mouth shut as of yet. Trump, however, was not gifted with any such intelligence and has been continuing on with his anti-NFL ranting, posting to Twitter on Saturday afternoon that players who remain seated during the national anthem at games should be fired.
This incident isn’t even the first time that the Trump White House has taken aim at a sports interest. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called from the White House press room podium for an ESPN journalist to be fired for calling the president a white supremacist.
It is not her place and it’s not the president’s place to decide what is and isn’t protected free speech, and who should and shouldn’t keep their job. However, they’re still pushing on with their plan to turn the Trump Administration into a dictatorship.
Featured Image via John Lamparski/Getty Images