WASHINGTON (AP) — With his attacks on activist athletes, President Donald Trump plunged into the middle of his favorite kind of drama — personal, aggressive, culturally volatile and largely of his own making.
For three days, the provocateur president has drawn criticism for saying football players who kneel during the national anthem should be fired.
The conflict peaked Sunday with Trump’s remarks that had the effect of uniting a newly minted coalition including a growing number of players and coaches, as well as some owners who have backed the president.
Trump told reporters in New Jersey that kneeling was “very disrespectful to our flag and to our country” and “owners should do something.”
Trump pushed back against the suggestion that his critique could inflame racial tensions, arguing: “I never said anything about race.”