Trump hits NFL: Ratings ‘are way down except before game starts’

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President Trump early Tuesday said ratings for NFL games are “way down except before the game starts,” stretching his attacks on the league and its players into a fifth day.

“Ratings for NFL football are way down except before game starts, when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected!”

Trump pointed to boos when the Dallas Cowboys knelt before the national anthem Monday night, saying there was “great anger.” The Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones knelt before the anthem began, leading to boos from the crowd, but then stood as the anthem was sung.

Trump at a rally in Alabama late last week launched his attacks on players who kneel during the national anthem to protest racial inequity in the U.S.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired,’ ” Trump said.

He has since called for players who kneel during the anthem to be fired or suspended.

More than 200 players kneeled after his comments during games on Sunday. 

“Tremendous backlash against the NFL and its players for disrespect of our Country,” the president tweeted Monday evening.

Trump has been criticized for focusing on the NFL as Puerto Rico’s governor warns of a humanitarian crisis in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

He mentioned the territory on Twitter late Monday for the first time since Wednesday, saying it is in “deep trouble” while pointing to the island’s vulnerable infrastructure and financial crisis.

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