During a rally in Huntsville, Alabama for Sen. Luther Strange on Friday, President Donald Trump went on an unhinged rant calling for NFL owners to fire players who "disrespect" the flag on Sunday.
Trump's statements were aimed at many active NFL players who have come out in support of former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick's National Anthem protest. Many players have taken a knee and others have decided to raise a fist in solidarity with Kaepernick who has yet to be signed by an NFL team."Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say: 'Get that son of a b---- off the field right now. Out. He's fired. He's fired,"' said Trump.
Trump: NFL owners should tell players who kneel to "get that son of a bitch off the field right now." pic.twitter.com/eUYtJgNixK— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) September 23, 2017
In addition to dismissing the players' right to protest, the president claimed that refs are ruining the game of football by preventing violent collisions in the game. His random statements were met with applause from the crowd but extreme criticism on social media.
NFL players had enough and blasted Trump for his attack on players – an attack that neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville were not subjected to.
#Kaepernick we riding with you bro ✊🏾— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) September 23, 2017
cloth has more value than people. apparently. https://t.co/PZjeRA9861— feeno (@ArianFoster) September 23, 2017
Does anyone tell trump to stick to politics, like they tell us to stick to sports? Smh.— Eric Ebron (@Ebron85) September 23, 2017
What an emphatic response, where was this passion in response to Charlottesville...🤔 https://t.co/OkVZTdloXx— Max Garcia (@MGarcia_76) September 23, 2017
Smh & all because @Kaepernick7 is exercising his right as an American citizen to protest.— Bishop Sankey (@BishopSankey) September 23, 2017
Since the rant, Twitter users have demanded that players – black and white – take a knee to spite Trump.
Just so we're clear: the president's comments will only incite more player protests, not quell them.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 23, 2017
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell put out a statement Saturday morning saying Trump's comments were "divisive" and "demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.
NFL's response to Trump's comments pic.twitter.com/WcUJePAMKZ— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) September 23, 2017
Here is the full rant below:
'Wouldn't you love to see NFL owners when someone disrespects our flag say 'Get that son of a b**** off the field?'' https://t.co/tV0mCONpnh— NBC BLK (@NBCBLK) September 23, 2017