President Trump praised the NFL for finally coming to their senses on the anthem controversy last week, after Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote a memo declaring that it was time to “move past the anthem controversy.” However, this week President Trump had another message for the NFL, one not nearly as congratulatory.
On Wednesday morning, President Trump tweeted:
The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem. Total disrespect for our great country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017
The tweet references the Tuesday meeting in New York City between the NFL and NFL players. After that meeting, the NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement talking about their partnership on social issues, and promising to meet again. Yet, neither side mentioned any changes to player conduct rules regarding the anthem:
Joint NFL-NFLPA statement: pic.twitter.com/v4Swz4WhvW
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 17, 2017
To be clear, the joint statement doesn’t say anthem policy won’t be discussed at a later date, and the two sides did agree to meet again. However, after such strong statements from Roger Goodell about “moving past the anthem controversy,” fans had higher expectations for Tuesday’s meetings, and clearly, so did President Trump.