How President Trump and NFL Players Reacted to the New Anthem Policy
"Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country," he said of players who take a knee.
Much like the reaction when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat and later kneeled during the national anthem in 2016, the response to the NFL’s new anthem policy has been passionate and split down the middle.
Unveiled on Wednesday, the new policy allows players and team personnel to remain in the locker room if they want, but requires them to stand and “show respect” if they choose to be on the field for the anthem.
Designed to be a compromise between protesters and patriots, the immediate reaction to the policy indicated neither side was pleased with what the owners have done and the potential loopholes for other forms of on-field protests their decision creates.
On Thursday, perhaps the biggest documented anti-anthem protester, President Trump, weighed in on the NFL’s revised policy.
Speaking to Fox & Friends, Trump said NFL owners “did the right thing” but did seem to indicate he wished they’d taken the policy a little further.
“I don’t think people should be staying in the locker rooms, but still I think it’s good,” he said. “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem, or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem.”
“You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem. You shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe they shouldn’t be in the country…the NFL owners did the right thing” -President @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/bt36t4EX5u
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) May 24, 2018
Players on the other side of the issue had a much different reaction than President Trump’s response.
— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) May 23, 2018
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) May 23, 2018
“Appropriate respect for flag and anthem” implies that guys were being disrespectful towards it. Which is an opinion. Most people who believe that ignore the responses from the players and more importantly why men chose to protest. https://t.co/j7nyw2Lkai
— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) May 23, 2018
Doug Baldwin on @710ESPNSeattle on the NFL Anthem rules today:
“I’m not surprised – the NFL cares about one thing and that’s the NFL – that’s the bottom line…I’m not surprised, I’m disappointed.”
Says he’s been in contact with Roger Goodell, calls the rule tone deaf.
— Jessamyn McIntyre (@JessamynMcIntyr) May 23, 2018
The NFL Players Association also took exception with the NFL’s decision.
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) May 23, 2018
With the start of the NFL season still months away, it will be intriguing to see if the reaction from players and the NFLPA is enough to get the NFL to tweak its new policy before it is even implemented.
Should that happen, President Trump’s response will likely be even more forceful, and divisive, than what he said today.
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