The sports world has responded to President Trump’s criticisms of NFL players who protest against the national anthem. On Friday night, Trump gave a fiery speech in Huntsville, Alabama, while speaking at a rally for Republican Senate candidate Luther Strange.
President Trump referred to NFL players who protest the anthem as as “SOB’s.” He also said that it would be a winning public relations move if an NFL owner were to “fire” a player for such a protest.
Trump wishes NFL owners would tell anthem protesters "get that son of a bitch off the field right now" pic.twitter.com/gq4EH3lNoY
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) September 23, 2017
By Saturday evening, the NFL Players Association, Commissioner Goodell, and the leadership of several different NFL franchises, had responded to Trump.
Here’s a collection of those responses:
Statement from Arthur Blank: pic.twitter.com/20DH3DHc4e
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) September 23, 2017
Jed York of the San Francisco 49ers weighed-in:
— Jed York (@JedYork) September 23, 2017
Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch respond to President Trump's remarks last night, via team spokesman: pic.twitter.com/AHzL6KM7W3
— Jenny Vrentas (@JennyVrentas) September 23, 2017
Statement from Miami Dolphins Owner and Founder of Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) Stephen Ross. pic.twitter.com/6W3mXwJO6M
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) September 23, 2017
Green Bay Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy released this statement:
It’s unfortunate that the President decided to use his immense platform to make divisive and offensive statements about our players and the NFL. We strongly believe that players are leaders in our communities and positive influences. They have achieved their positions through tremendous work and dedication and should be celebrated for their success and positive impact. We believe it is important to support any of our players who choose to peacefully express themselves with the hope of change for good. As Americans, we are fortunate to be able to speak openly and freely.
Amy Adams Strunk, Controlling Owner of the Tennessee Titans weighed-in: “I wholeheartedly agree with the commissioner’s statement. The NFL and its players, more than anything, have been a force for good. What our country needs right now is a message of unity, civility and mutual respect.”
Commissioner Goodell released a statement earlier on Saturday, in which he called Trump’s comments “divisive,” and accused the president of failing to understand the “overwhelming force for good” that the NFL represents to its communities.