President Donald Trump reignited his ire toward NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police brutality and the disenfranchisement of people of color.
During preseason games on Thursday night, multiple players took a knee or raised a fist during the anthem, leading Donald Trump to seethe on Twitter.
The NFL players are at it again - taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numer… https://t.co/wbN9RbBj7a— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1533903535.0
.....Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to p… https://t.co/PafpzKzMCT— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1533904360.0
This isn't the first time the president has called for protesting players to be suspended without pay. This past May, the NFL announced a policy mandating that players stand for the anthem or remain in the locker room. The policy was heavily criticized and has now been put on hold, but Trump insisted in an interview with Fox and Friends that the players were being let off too easy, seemingly implying that they should be deported instead.
I don't think people should be staying in locker rooms. 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.
Trump's animus toward protesting players has proven to be one of his strongest vendettas. He's railed against players at his rallies in the past, much to the attending supporters' delight. At one rally, he said to the crowd:
Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!'
He's also tweeted about the protests to the point of incessance.
We will proudly be playing the National Anthem and other wonderful music celebrating our Country today at 3 P.M., T… https://t.co/frLsQzTjpP— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1528196914.0
At least 24 players kneeling this weekend at NFL stadiums that are now having a very hard time filling up. The Amer… https://t.co/n0YsDlZQ0C— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1511873130.0
The NFL is now thinking about a new idea - keeping teams in the Locker Room during the National Anthem next season.… https://t.co/tqZuHcaCyG— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1511347690.0
It is about time that Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1507718830.0
Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1507630427.0
The reason for such pointed anger is unclear, but Americans are getting sick of it.
Trump's constant badgering of NFL players has even annoyed NFL owners and coaches.
New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch expressed disapproval toward the president's obsession last month:
Hopefully he’ll have much more going on that he’s going have to deal with and should deal with and must deal with than worrying about what NFL players do. He has no understanding of why they take a knee or why they’re protesting. When the new season starts, I hope his priorities are not criticizing the NFL and telling owners what to do and what not to do.
But if Trump's tweets during the preseason games are any indication, it seems like he has no intentions of giving up the feud, despite numerous Americans criticizing his stance, including Cam Jordan of the New Orleans Saints:
Guy who won the presidential election... how about we get a statement on the “unite the right” rally 2 being held i… https://t.co/eaqQ40Jsix— cameron jordan (@cameron jordan) 1533906282.0
Only way to say it. What a Goober. He is who I thought he was. Guy is 70+ yr old acting out in what was once the hi… https://t.co/z7T0wdeFIJ— cameron jordan (@cameron jordan) 1533907129.0
He won’t govern himself, give him a mentor? Right, members of his cabinet left on their own accord or were dismisse… https://t.co/B6SkdcRhrE— cameron jordan (@cameron jordan) 1533907296.0
Not a majority. That is debatable. I am exploring other avenues and “flat forms” (😳) to get my opinions across. As… https://t.co/rP5LTgFbx6— cameron jordan (@cameron jordan) 1533911508.0
Trump has been known to hold grudges and has proven himself more concerned with those who protest racism rather than those who perpetuate it. The determination of the NFL players, however, seems determined not to relent until the nation finally tackles what it's tried to put under the rug.