NFL players, executives lead Anti-Donald Trump charge

By @saihoops on
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a statement on the deadly protests in Charlottesville, at the White House in Washington, U.S. August 14, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a statement on the deadly protests in Charlottesville, at the White House in Washington, U.S. August 14, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

The National Football League (NFL) has a taken a collective stance against Donald Trump after the US President criticised NFL players for protesting the national anthem. Trump's comments have been strongly denounced by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, club owners, players and executives. 

On Friday evening, Trump controversially said that players protesting the national anthem must be released. He also encouraged unhappy fans to walk out of stadiums. "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 said while speaking at a political rally in Huntsville, Alabama.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell promptly responded with a strong statement: "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."

NFL joins NBA in its anti-Donald Trump stance

Over the last few days, almost every NFL team has denounced Trump's comments. While New York Giants owners Steve Tisch and John Mara called the comments "inappropriate, offensive and divisive," San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York called them "callous" and "contradictory to what this great country stands for."

Stephen Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins, said: "Our country needs unifying leadership right now, not more divisiveness. We need to seek to understand each other and have civil discourse instead of condemnation and sound bites. I know our players who kneeled for the anthem and these are smart young men of character who want to make our world a better place for everyone. They wanted to start a conversation and are making a difference in our community, including working with law enforcement to bring people together. We all can benefit from learning, listening and respecting each other."

Meanwhile, the National Basketball League (NBA) are also at loggerheads with Trump. After Golden State Warriors stars Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry refused to meet with the President at the White House, Trump disinvited the defending NBA champions from their customary visit. Thereafter, LeBron James, the biggest star in basketball, called Trump "a bum" via Twitter in support of the Warriors. 

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