Trump Not Bashful About America in Face of NFL Protests

Lawrence Summers   Molly Riley  Reuters

Lawrence Summers Molly Riley Reuters

Trump retweeted a photo of Pat Tillman, the former National Football League player turned Army Ranger who died in Afghanistan in 2004 after enlisting in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Californians are divided over the NFL national anthem protests, with about half supporting the players who took a knee and 37 percent opposing, according to a new statewide poll. Trump had called them "son of a bitch", adding they should be "fired".

However, the NFL's game operations manual requires that "all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem".

Trump's attack on African-American athletes came as the president would normally be expected to prepare to sell a tax overhaul plan and revive health care legislation to the American people. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a longtime supporter of Trump, said Sunday he was "deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the president".

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has rebuked Trump, saying his statements reveal his "unfortunate lack of respect" for the players and their constitutional right to freedom of expression. Nielsen, which measures television viewership, said its data for Week 3 - the third week since football season officially kicked off - would not be available until Tuesday, when it usually releases audience sizes for the previous week. As it turns out, the official NFL Rulebook says nothing about the National Anthem, but another set of league guidelines does. "Honoring the flag, the national anthem, and the men and women who fought to defend it".

Trump reacted Monday morning through Twitter. Some owners locked arms with players.

After the Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry told reporters he didn't want to go to the White House for political reasons, Trump said he rescinded his invitation.

"There is a time and place for civil debate, and wearing team jerseys and using sporting events to disrespect our country doesn't wash with millions of military veterans who have and continue to wear real uniforms on real battlefields around the globe", Harman said.

Trump also irked National Basketball Association figures when he tweeted that Stephen Curry was no longer welcome to visit the White House after Curry said multiple times that he had no intention of making the celebratory trip.

His comments sparked backlash from players across the country, and on Sunday entire teams knelt during "The Star-Spangled Banner".

"There is much that unites us as Hoosiers and Americans, including sports, but unfortunately, the President's comments are dividing Americans instead of bringing them together".

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