Trump demands Roger Goodell ‘make a stand’ on players kneeling for anthem
President Trump singled out NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a tweet on Friday, calling on the football executive to further punish players who protest at games by kneeling during the national anthem.
Trump, noting Goodell’s potential $40 million a year salary, tweeted that the NFL commissioner must “make a stand” and suspend players for a game or the entire season if they continue to kneel. Many players have knelt during the anthem to protest policy brutality and racism.
“The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!” Trump wrote.
The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2018
Trump’s tweet comes after the league announced Thursday it would freeze its newly implemented policy requiring players to remain standing while the anthem played at games.
The NFL implemented the policy this spring following widespread player protests last season, which drew criticism from Trump.
The policy was met by a challenge last week from the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), which filed a grievance against the NFL over the policy which is widely unpopular with players.
“In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy,” a statement from the NFL read. “No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing.”
“The NFL and NFLPA reflect the great values of America, which are repeatedly demonstrated by the many players doing extraordinary work in communities across our country to promote equality, fairness and justice,” the statement continued. “Our shared focus will remain on finding a solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments, outside of litigation.”