Donald Trump offered harsh criticism of the NFL and players that protest at his latest rally.
Donald Trump heavily criticized the growing faction of NFL players who demonstrate protests during the national anthem before games. He said Friday night that he wished those players would be cut from their respective teams and encouraged those fans who are offended to walk out of stadiums in response.
Speaking at a political rally in Huntsville, Ala., Trump shouted, “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. Out! He’s fired! He’s fired!”
Trump claimed that the protests, which became the subject of angst in 2016 when then San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem, are “hurting the game.”
Trump did not mention Kaepernick or any other NFL player by name during his speech. Kaepernick decided to opt out of his contract with San Francisco after the 2016 season and has remained unsigned since.
“The only thing you could do better,” Trump exclaimed, “is if you see it, even if it’s just one player, leave the stadium. I guarantee things will stop. Things will stop. Just pick up and leave. Pick up and leave. Not the same game anymore, anyway.”
Trump went on to claim that NFL game officials are “ruining the game” by calling 15-yard penalties for “beautiful” tackles. He also pointed out that league’s ratings are down “massively, massively” because fans prefer watching him instead. NFL ratings dipped eight percent in 2016 from 2015.
The NFL has to comment on 45’s statements.