Trump vs. Athletes Trump Goes on the Offensive, Athletes Respond with Unity
The Pittsburgh Steelers will not be present during the national anthem during their game today against the Chicago Bears. The team will return to the locker room during the anthem.
This is in response to comments President Trump made in Alabama on Friday, September 22 at a rally in Alabama. Trump said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a (expletive) off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!'”
NFL players and owners alike came out against Trump’s comments. Among those who released statements were CEO of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft, former Buffalo Bills coach and Trump supporter Rex Ryan, and a plethora of owners sharing the support for their players’ right to protest.
High-profile athletes outside the NFL also came out against comments made by Trump, most notably NBA superstar LeBron James. This was in response to Trump revoking the invitation to the White House for NBA Champions the Golden State Warriors, after players decided they would not attend.
Trump’s comments stem from the growing movement of NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem before kickoff. Colin Kaepernick, former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, spearheaded the movement just over a year ago now and is currently not on an NFL roster.
The first game played today was between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens in London, where more players took a knee and each team locked arm-in-arm as a sign of solidarity.
In response to the vocal attacks by President Trump, the NFL will air an ad of unity on primetime television tonight.
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