Trump puts NFL players on notice: Stand for national anthem

U.S. president has been outspoken against football players kneeling

President Donald Trump is putting pro football players on notice for Week 4 of the NFL season: He won’t stand for it if they kneel in protest during the national anthem.

At Sunday’s first game, in London, New Orleans Saints players, coaches and staff knelt before the start of the anthem but stood in unison once it began. On the Miami Dolphins’ sideline, three players were on one knee during the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Amid a series of tweets Saturday against criticism of the federal response to hurricane damage in Puerto Rico, the president returned to the world of sports and society: “Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!”

Protesting during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” drew national attention last season when Colin Kaepernick, then a quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers, declined to stand as a way to bring attention to police treatment of blacks and to social injustice.

During a speech at a political rally in Alabama on Sept. 22, Trump called for NFL owners to fire players who engaged in such a protest. In the days that followed the president issued a series of tweets reiterating his views and calling for a fan boycott of games.

Criticism from players, owners and fans — and some praise — greeted Trump’s remarks.

The controversy boiled for days and seemed to overshadow other issues facing the Trump presidency, including the failure of Republicans to repeal and replace the nation’s health care law; the Senate primary loss in Alabama of Trump’s favoured candidate; a turbulent hurricane season; and tensions over North Korea’s missiles and nuclear weapons.

“I do really believe his heart’s in the right place,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“I think what matters is that we have to show people that we are an inclusive society, that we want everyone to succeed,” he said.

Ryan also acknowledged that the original point of the player demonstration — racial injustice and police mistreatment of African-Americans — has become obscured by the narrower issue of how to act during the anthem.

“I think we should just have separate and distinct conversations. Because when you merge it into the flag and the anthem, it’s lost,” Ryan said.

Relatively few players had demonstrated before Trump’s remarks. Last Sunday, more than 100 NFL players sat, knelt or raised their fists in defiance during the national anthem.

The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Nuxalk Nation receives over $4 million in funding for Big House

The funding is joint federal, provincial and municipal and will support 24 infrastructure projects

CCRD receives almost $1 million in funding for local parks; playground rehabilitation

The project includes the rehabilitation of the Walker Island Park and Nusatsum Park playgrounds

Thousands of dollars in Indigenous art missing after Bella Coola break-in

Masks, prints and a hand painted canoe are just a few of the missing items

Pacific Coastal service to begin July 26

The company has not flown into the community since March

Central Coast regional emergency partnership receives funding

The funding is part of the nearly $69.5-million Community Emergency Preparedness Fund

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Budget officer pegs cost of basic income as calls for it grow due to COVID-19

Planned federal spending to date on pandemic-related aid now tops about $174 billion

Most Read