During a rally in Montana on Thursday night, President Trump blasted the NFL’s new anthem policy, calling it “worse” than the old policy.
Trump didn’t stop at blaming the anthem policy, however, he also took aim at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Saying that the commissioner was making “$40 million a year,” while the league’s ratings had fallen by “20 percent.”
Referencing the anthem policy, Trump said:
“Hey, how about the NFL? Look, I don’t want to cause controversy. . . . But how about they pass this stupid thing. You don’t have to do this anymore. If you don’t respect the flag, or if you don’t like the country, or whatever it is. Just go into the locker room. . . . I think in many respects, that’s worse. Isn’t that worse than not standing? I think that’s worse. . . . I actually think in many ways it’s worse:”
Trump Wraiths NFL: "They passed this stupid thing. You don't have to do this anymore. If you don't respect the flag or don't like the country, just go into the locker room. I think in many respects, that's worse." pic.twitter.com/i0oxUJjkp6
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) July 5, 2018
Trump then set the commissioner in his sights:
I heard this thing, they were so happy, the owners. This Commissioner, where this guy comes from I have no [idea]. They’re paying him $40 million a year, and their ratings are down 20 percent. But you know why their ratings are down? Yes, the flag. But they’re also down because people find politics — in other words, hitting Trump, incorrectly, but hitting Trump — they find that to be much tougher, meaner, and more interesting than watching a football game. They actually do. And they’re watching the cable networks instead of watching football.
In fact, NFL ratings did not fall by 20 percent last year. Instead, the league suffered a ten percent drop in the 2017-2018 season. However, it is true that despite overseeing a league facing a monumental decline in popularity, Goodell did receive a contract extension from NFL owners.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn