On Wednesday, the president continued his ongoing feud with the NFL. He has taken it up as a pet cause of his to try and compel players who choose to take a knee during the anthem as a protest on behalf of African Americans to cease their protesting.
In apparent response to reports about the NFL’s consideration of a rule compelling players to stand during the anthem — and thus stem the tide of distracting criticism produced by what’s turned into a PR debacle thanks to the president’s goading — Trump took to Twitter Wednesday to praise NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for “demanding” that all players stand for the pre-game anthem.
There is just one problem — according to the NFL, Trump got Goodell’s position dead wrong.
A statement from the NFL, posted to Twitter by sports journalist Ian Rapoport, reads:
‘Commentary thus morning about the NFL Commissioner’s position on the anthem is not accurate. As we said yesterday, there will be a discussion of these issues at the owners meeting next week. The NFL is doing the hard work of trying to move from protest to progress, working to bring people together.’
Considering this statement from the NFL, Trump has yet again jumped ahead of the truth for the sake of his talking points.
The statement from the NFL responding to Trump’s tweet details Goodell’s efforts to be privy to the concerns of players and potential ways to address those concerns. He reportedly spent Tuesday with the Miami Dolphins, “witnessing first hand the outstanding work our players and clubs are doing to strengthen our communities.”
Considering Goodell’s past statements, he seems to be of the personal persuasion that all should stand for the anthem, but he is, apparently, among those who do not want to force their position on others.
He is most certainly aware and concerned about, as mentioned, the hold that the controversy surrounding the anthem has put on efforts to address the underlying issues at play. Rather than allowing for a general conversation to proceed, the controversy, fueled in no small part by the president’s persistent belligerence, threatens to divide the league and its fans into ever more intense factions — and that’s not good for business.
Read the full statement from the NFL responding to the president below.
Check out Twitter’s response below.
Featured Image via Maddie Meyer/ Getty Images