On Saturday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell responded towhen he called out the NFL and players who kneel in protest during the national anthem, saying the president’s “divisive comments” reveal an “unfortunate lack of respect” for the NFL and contributions players make to their communities.
Goodell issued the statement after President Trump mentioned the issue at a rally foron Friday night. He called on the NFL to fire players like Colin Kaepernick who refuse to stand for the national anthem.
“The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture,” Goodell said in a statement. “There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month. Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.”
Mr. Trump took to Twitter on Saturday night to criticize Goodell’s statement. “Roger Goodell of NFL just put out a statement trying to justify the total disrespect certain players show to our country. Tell them to stand!”
Roger Goodell of NFL just put out a statement trying to justify the total disrespect certain players show to our country.Tell them to stand!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
It’s interesting that Commissioner Goodell accuses President Trump of a “lack of respect”, yet he never made such strong comments over Colin Kaepernick wearing pig socks and a t-shirt celebrating a murderous dictator. I wonder how Goodell believes pig socks are a sign of the “overwhelming good” the league offers its communities?
Goodell’s statement, in the end, will probably not satisfy the Michael Bennett wing of the NFL player protest movement. However, by calling Trump’s comments divisive, in addition to saying they equal a lack of respect. The commissioner’s statement will no doubt be viewed as a win by anthem-protesting players, and, of course, a loss for the rest of us.