Donald Trump Threatens Not to Watch After NFL Backs Kneeling During Anthem

HOUSTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 29: Eric Reid #25 of the Carolina Panthers kneels during the national anthem before playing the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Bob Levey/Getty Images

President Donald Trump again took to Twitter to criticize the NFL, threatening not to watch games if players are allowed to kneel during the national anthem. 

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:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

And it looks like the NFL is heading in that direction also, but not with me watching! https://t.co/aGfBaK7RNA

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.”

NFL @NFL

We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter. #InspireChange https://t.co/ENWQP8A0sv

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.   

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