Administration

Trump tweets Thanksgiving criticism of NFL QBs for kneeling

President Trump used a Thanksgiving tweet to renew his criticism of NFL players kneeling in calls for social justice, retweeting a tweet and image of Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson and Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, who both knelt during the national anthem at their holiday games Thursday.

Trump, who had been tweeting about the election throughout most of the day, responded to a tweet by DEE SPORTS GUY which stated "QB's Deshaun Watson (Houston Texans) & Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions) exercising Social Justice support during the National Anthem minutes ago,"  and included photos of both football players kneeling.

"No thanks," Trump tweeted.

Trump loudly criticized NFL players in 2017 over the social justice protests, which had been launched by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. 

The Trump criticism deepened a controversy for the nation's most watched sports league. 

The protests have gained popularity and social acceptance, particularly after the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died in Minneapolis in May after an officer knelt on his neck for an extended period of time, pinning Floyd to the street.

In June, Trump tweeted that he would no longer watch football or soccer after the U.S. Soccer Federation released guidelines stating that players did not have to stand during the national anthem. 

In July, Trump suggested that players find alternatives to kneeling to express their views.

"[T]here are many ways of showing you are unhappy," he said then.

He reiterated his stance in August, stating that he would prefer for the NFL not to resume games if players opted to kneel.

Trump has only been seen a handful to times publicly since his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden, but has frequently tweeted. 

Thursday was no exception, as the president continued to protest his loss in the election while criticizing favorite targets, from NFL players to Democrats including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). 

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