Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith in an interview questioned why President Trump was condemning National Football League (NFL) players more strongly than he did white supremacists last month.
Smith called Trump’s criticism of NFL players who kneel during the anthem “alarming” because he was “targeting the NFL, targeting the quality and character of guys in this league for that very protest," according to the Kansas City Star.
“It’s the same guy who couldn’t condemn violent neo-Nazis. And he’s condemning guys taking a knee during the anthem,” Smith said.
“There are bigger issues out there that he probably should be worried about. But for some reason the NFL is on his mind.”
Smith said it was “uncomfortable” for him to talk politics but that “it struck a chord a little bit to see guys get attacked for a peaceful protest.”
Trump faced intense backlash for his comments about a violent white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., last month, in which he blamed “both sides” for the violence.
“What about the alt-left that came charging at the — as you say, the alt-right?” Trump said. “Do they have any semblance of guilt? What about the fact they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. As far as I am concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day.”
Trump is again facing criticism for saying NFL players who kneel during the national anthem should be fired, saying owners should “get that son of a bitch off the field.”
He also called for people to leave football games if they see players participating in the protest.