On Monday, President Trump tweeted his comments on this past weekend’s NFL Week 1 National Anthem protests. The protests are the center of many conversations right now, as teams’ approaches to the anthem become visible during the start of the new season. The NFL policy on the National Anthem gives players the option to stand on the sideline or remain in the locker room for the now two national anthems that play pregame.
Trump gave his thoughts on the civil protest done by players taking a knee, raising their fists, or remaining in the locker room as the Star-Spangled Banner plays. He says “No thanks,” on the matter, saying they may choose to “‘protest’ some other time.”
As with many recent comments on the NFL’s National Anthem protests, this comment continues to rack in many replies, both in support and frustration with the president’s opinion.
Verified user and gun-rights activist JT Lewis comments further criticism of the football players, mentioning the lack of 9/11 tribute. He also presumably mentions Jacob Blake, who was shot in the back, resulting in paralysis, by a police officer. The shooting led to many protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake has been the center of disputes because of his past sexual assault charges, as well as a warrant that out for his arrest at the time of the shooting.
One highly ‘liked’ comment also mentions this summer’s protests, but with a different intent. The tweet that now has over 7 thousand ‘likes.’
In another Twitter exchange, one user supports Trump, writing players should show respect and “never kneel,” while another says that “kneeling IS respect.”
President Trump’s Past Comments On NFL ‘Disrespect’
This is not the first time President Trump has tweeted his views on NFL Anthem protests. Some people, including John Elway and Jerry Jones, have changed their tune about players’ decisions to kneel or sit. Though it seems Trump is not budging in his opposition with the form of protest. In 2017, he tweeted similar frustration with the “disrespect” shown by kneeling.
Of course, he received just as much backlash (and support) three years ago as he does on the extremely divisive matter now. This user follows the structure of Trump’s tweet, but substitutes the president into the role of ‘privilege.’
Other’s comment further disagreement on the 2017 tweet, saying the president, himself, shows disrespect. One writes, “If one wants the privilege of being POTUS then 1. they should act respectfully to all 2. they should respect the office they hold.” Similarly, another says, “If a man ends up in the White House, even if by foreign intervention, he should not be allowed to disrespect the American people. #impeach”
NFL players, coaches, and owners continue to give their opinions and act on social justice measures as the 2020 season begins. It is unclear if and how those who kneel, rather than choosing to remain in the locker room, will be punished for breaking the NFL rule on National Anthem procedures.