×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Trump Calls for NFL Boycott in Continued Criticism of Anthem Protests

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said that NFL players who locked arms with other teammates showed “great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country.”

“Standing with locked arms is good. Kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings,” he tweeted on Sunday afternoon, after a number of teams made symbolic statements during the National Anthem after Trump attacked players for getting on one knee as a form of protest over racial injustice.

Earlier on Sunday, Trump called for an NFL boycott unless players “stop disrespecting our flag and country.”

In a series of tweets on Sunday morning, Trump wrote that if fans refuse to go to games until players stop the protests, “you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!”

Trump also attacked the NFL, calling games “boring” and saying that “many stay away because they love our country.”

Trump began his attacks on professional sports on Friday, when he told a rally in Alabama, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say: ‘Get that son of a b— off the field right now, out. He’s fired. He’s fired!'”

Trump, who had been campaigning for Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), was referring to players who have kneeled during the National Anthem as a form of protest of racial injustice in the U.S.

In response, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called Trump’s remarks “divisive.”

In a rare statement on a political issue, Goodell said that “the NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month. Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game, and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.”

More teams also issued statements on Sunday. Robert Kraft, the chairman and CEO of the the New England Patriots, said that he was “deeply disappointed by the tone” of Trump’s comments on Friday.

“Our players are intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner they feel is most impactful,” he said.

Kraft supported Trump’s presidential bid, and visited the White House in April along with Coach Bill Belichick and other team members to celebrate their Super Bowl win. Quarterback Tom Brady did not attend, citing personal reasons.

On Saturday, the players’ union also criticized Trump’s call to NFL owners to boot players who kneel or sit during the national anthem.

“We will never back down. We no longer can afford to stick to sports,” DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, tweeted.

Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick was among the first to protest the national anthem. “#Kaepernick we riding with you bro,” former NFL player Reggie Bush tweeted.

Trump is also at war with another sports league: The NBA. This year’s NBA champs, the Golden State Warriors, annouced on Saturday that they will officially skip the traditional White House visit following Trump’s criticism of star player Steph Curry.

“President Trump has made it clear we’re not invited,” the team said in a statement.

Trump slammed Curry earlier in the day over his remarks that he didn’t want to visit the White House amid growing racial tension. LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Chris Paul were among the NBA stars who came to his defense.

Later on Sunday, Trump tweeted that the Pittsburgh Penguins would visit the White House to celebrate their Stanley Cup victory.

More Politics

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders Jemele Hill

    Sarah Huckabee Sanders to Leave the White House

    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is leaving her position at the end of the month, President Donald Trump said Thursday. In two tweets, Trump announced Sanders’ departure for her home state of Arkansas before thanking her for “a job well done.” He also recommended her for the Arkansas governor position, writing, “She is [...]

  • Kellyanne Conway

    Federal Watchdog Says Kellyanne Conway Should Step Down

    A federal watchdog has recommended that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway should be fired for repeated violations of the Hatch Act. In a report on Thursday, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel found that Conway had used TV appearances and social media platforms to disparage Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity. “Ms. [...]

  • Jessica Biel Clarifies Anti-Vaccine Stance

    Jessica Biel: 'I Am Not Against Vaccinations'

    Jessica Biel clarified her stance on vaccinations after public outcry over news that the actress joined Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to lobby against a California state pro-vaccine bill. “I am not against vaccinations,” Biel wrote on Instagram Thursday morning. “I support children getting vaccinations and I also support families having the right to make educated [...]

  • 'The Sinner' film premiere

    Jessica Biel Joins Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to Lobby Against California Vaccine Bill

    Jessica Biel joined the controversial anti-vaccination advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to lobby against a California state pro-vaccine bill on Tuesday, revealed in several social media posts. “Please say thank you to the courageous @jessicabiel for a busy and productive day at the California State House,” Kennedy posted on Tuesday with a series of pictures [...]

  • Hope Hicks Resigns

    Hope Hicks to Give Closed-Door Testimony to Judiciary Committee

    Hope Hicks, the chief communications officer at Fox, has agreed to answer questions before the House Judiciary Committee next week. The hearing will be held behind closed doors, but the committee will make a transcript available afterward. The committee is continuing to follow up on the report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Hicks is set [...]

  • Michael Wolff Fire and Fury

    5 Takeaways From Michael Wolff's 'Siege: Trump Under Fire'

    Michael Wolff’s “Siege: Trump Under Fire” looks at the 45th president’s second year in office, detailing everything from a potential indictment to Melania Trump’s mysterious hospitalization. It’s the follow-up to Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” and though this installment likely won’t reach the commercial heights of its predecessor, it’s certainly not lacking in titillating reveals. Several [...]

  • Donald Trump

    Trump Says His Meghan Markle ‘Nasty’ Comment Was Taken Out of Context

    After first denying he made the comment, President Trump now says his remark describing Meghan Markle as “nasty” was taken out of context, telling Piers Morgan instead that he thinks the Duchess of Sussex is actually “very nice.” Trump called Markle “nasty” in an interview with British tabloid The Sun ahead of his three-day state [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content