'Total Disrespect For Our Great Country': Trump Criticizes NFL's Decision To Not Penalize Players Who Kneel During Anthem
The NFL has decided that players can continue to kneel during the national anthem without penalty.
In a report from the New York Times, the decision came after a meeting Tuesday afternoon in New York City between commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL owners, players, and their union reps. Most of the meeting reportedly addressed the issues the players are protesting against instead of the protests themselves.
“We just talked about how the owners could come alongside us and we could, collectively, collaboratively, work together to actually create some change, real changes,” Philadelphia Eagles athlete Malcolm Jenkins said. “We feel a real responsibility to our country, to our communities, so we’re working through ways to really have long lasting, real change.”
The NFL’s rulebook does not require players to stand for the anthem but says they must be on the sideline during the song and “should” stand for it. However, the rule was left alone during the meeting although it is unknown if it will be addressed in another meeting or not (Goodell has said the league and its players will likely meet again in the next two weeks).
Black Lives Matter protesters had gathered outside the hotel where the NFL owners were meeting and ultimately ended up confronting Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, where they told him that players were taking a knee to protest police brutality and white supremacy.
Oh shit, Jerry Jones getting called out pic.twitter.com/CtqWjujGbQ
— Rube (@Rubethedude) October 17, 2017
Colin Kaepernick was also reportedly invited to the meeting but chose not to attend, although his lawyer, Mark Geragos, said that he might attend future meetings.
Following the decision, Donald Trump took to Twitter Wednesday morning to criticize it.
“The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem. Total disrespect for our great country,” Trump wrote.
The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem. Total disrespect for our great country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017