President Trump encouraged NFL owners on Friday to fire any player who protests during the national anthem, telling them to “get that son of a b—- off the field right now.”
Speaking at a Huntsville, Ala., rally in support of incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, Trump took to the podium to put down his iron fist against protesting players.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now. Out, you’re fired!’ ”
Though Trump did not specifically mention former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s name, it did not take rocket science to know who was Trump’s main target.
Responding to a journalist’s tweet about Trump’s comments, Kaepernick’s mother Teresa wrote “Guess that makes me a proud b—-!”
Guess that makes me a proud bitch!
— Teresa Kaepernick (@B4IleaveU) September 23, 2017
Donald Trump Rips NFL – Those Who Disrespect The U.S. Flag (Colin Kaepernick). Video courtesy of (The Comeback).
“Prediction: Not one NFL owner, not Roger Goodell will say one word about what [Trump] said about Kaep or other NFL players. Not. A. One,” ESPN’s Jemele Hill also tweeted.
Prediction: Not one NFL owner, not Roger Goodell will say one word about what he said about Kaep or other NFL players. Not. A. One. https://t.co/tBv3Q5FZHp
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 23, 2017
ESPN’s Hill found herself in a similar position last week when White House officials called for her dismissal after she sent a tweet referring to Trump as a “white supremacist.”
While Kaepernick was widely criticized by those who saw his actions as un-American, he also inspired many other athletes to do the same.
Trump also complained to the cheering crowd that football games have become less violent. “They’re ruining the game,” he said.
He bemoaned players being thrown from games for aggressive tackles, saying it’s “not the same game.”
The NFL has increased penalties and enforcement for illegal hits to the head, as well as those for hitting defenseless players, in light of several studies that have shown a connection to severe brain trauma.
Ratings for the NFL have dropped in recent years for a variety of reasons, but Trump placed the blame squarely on the protesting players.
… trump taking a veiled shot at colin kaepernick, says owner should say: "get that sonofabitch off the field right now… he's fired!!" pic.twitter.com/ttbOd0VrPG
— fake nick ramsey (@nick_ramsey) September 23, 2017
“You know what’s hurting the game?” he said. “When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they’re playing our great national anthem.”
He revved up the Alabama crowd with his rhetoric: “That’s a total disrespect of our heritage. That’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for,” he said.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter Bernice King responded to Trump’s rant with the following tweets:
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) September 23, 2017
A nation is people, not a symbol. A protest for the eradication of racism that violates millions of those people is not disrespect. https://t.co/yeeRG4hAEz
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) September 23, 2017
“A nation is people, not a symbol. A protest for the eradication of racism that violates millions of those people is not disrespect,” she tweeted.
Kaepernick also has the support of Minnesota Vikings running back Bishop Sankey.
It's a shame and disgrace when you have the President of the US calling citizens of the country sons of a bitches.
— Bishop Sankey (@BishopSankey) September 23, 2017
“It’s a shame and disgrace when you have the President of the US calling citizens of the country sons of b——,” Sankey tweeted.
Donald Trump Jr., as in most cases supported his father’s remarks.
Love this: @realDonaldTrump on NFL players disrespecting our flag/anthem: "get that son of a bitch off the field right now – YOU'RE FIRED!"
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 23, 2017
“Love this: @realDonaldTrump on NFL players disrespecting our flag/anthem: ‘get that son of a b—- off the field right now — YOU’RE FIRED!’ ” he wrote.
Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers in May 2017 and has been working as an activist while he remains unsigned.
Trump has on many occasions taken credit for Kaepernick’s free agent status, and criticized his protest by saying he should “find a new country that works better for him.”
Trump stay in ur place… football have nothing to do wit u smh
— Zach Brown (@ZachBrown_55) September 23, 2017
“Trump stay in ur place… football have nothing to do wit u smh,” tweeted Washington linebacker Zach Brown.
LeNora Millen 09-23-17