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After Ohio congressman Jim Jordan tweeted about United States Soccer repealing the ban on players taking a knee during the national anthem, Trump responded by bringing up the NFL:
In a video statement released last week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league was “wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier, and [encouraged] all to speak out and peacefully protest.”
Trump responded to the video on Twitter, questioning if Goodell was giving players permission to kneel during the national anthem before games:
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
Could it be even remotely possible that in Roger Goodell’s rather interesting statement of peace and reconciliation, he was intimating that it would now be O.K. for the players to KNEEL, or not to stand, for the National Anthem, thereby disrespecting our Country & our Flag?
Over the course of his presidency, Trump has gone after the NFL and its players for kneeling as a form of protest against police brutality and systemic racism.
He called for fans to boycott the league in September 2017. That same month, at a rally in Alabama, he told the crowd he would like to see owners “get that son of a b—h off the field right now” to players who exercise their right to protest.
Despite Trump’s many claims he would stop watching the NFL if the protests continued, he has tweeted messages of congratulations to each of the last four Super Bowl winners since taking office.