Tuesday, ESPN “First Take” co-host Stephen A. Smith responded to President Donald Trump’s cancelation of the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl celebration at the White House over low player turnout, saying the president “has the NFL in the palm of his hands.”
Trump has denounced the National Anthem protests and owners admitted he influenced their decision to require players to either stand on the field for the anthem or remain in the locker room.
“Donald Trump has the NFL in the palm of his hands,” Smith stated. “He can do whatever he wants to them right now because of the positions they have taken or the positions they refuse to take, preceding the whole Colin Kaepernick thing. The fact that he has a constituency … the man got over 62 million votes. You got a lot of folks out there who are patrons of the NFL product. As a matter of fact, some of the NFL owners are his friends. And make no mistake about it, the patrons that they cater to, a lot of them were Trump voters. He knows it. He took the position that he took.”
He continued, “[W]hat it comes down to is that the power of influence matters. He has it, particularly over them, because he knows what they tried to do. He knows what he wants to do. More importantly, he knows how to do it better than them, and he’s got them by the you know what, because they folded to him.”
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