After making a thinly veiled allusion to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sparked a National debate by taking a knee during August 2016 preseason games to protest police violence against minorities, Trump called on NFL coaches to get the “son of a bitch” players off the field if they continued to kneel.
After players of several Nfl Teams kneeled, locked arms or stayed in their locker rooms during the national anthem on Sept. 24, President Trump said his criticism of the protests “has nothing to do with race.” (Bastien Inzaurralde/The Washington Post)
Speaking to supporters in Alabama on Friday night, he decried Kaepernick and later assailed rules meant to improve player safety, saying they hurt the game’s entertainment value and pointing to declining television ratings for NFL games.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith, the NFLPA’s executive director, spoke Saturday about President Trump’s comments but didn’t coordinate a response, according to one person close to the situation.
Khan, the Jaguars’ owner, explained afterward that he considered it a privilege to stand with his players and show unity and support for diversity of race, faith and opinion in the face of the president’s “divisive and contentious” comments.
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