President Donald Trump has put himself squarely back into the forefront of the National Anthem debate with players kneeling once again.
It started with Goodell tweeting out a Black Lives Matter video on Friday night, admitting that the league had not listened enough to its black players.
“It has been a difficult time for our country. In particular, black people in our country,” Goodell said in the video. “First, my condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and all the families who have endured police brutality. We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter. I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much needed change in this country.
“Without black players, there would be no National Football League. And the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of black players, coaches, fans and staff. We are listening. I am listening, and I will be reaching out to players who have raised their voices and others on how we can improve and go forward for a better and more united NFL family.”
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President Trump, who criticized Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem, tweeted a response to him late Sunday night.
“Could it be even remotely possible that in Roger Goodell’s rather interesting statement of peace and reconciliation, he was intimating that it would now be O.K. for the players to KNEEL, or not to stand, for the National Anthem, thereby disrespecting our Country & our Flag?” he tweeted.
It was back on Friday when Trump tweeted his support of Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who said on Wednesday that he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”
Trump said Brees shouldn’t have apologized at all. Brees later countered Trump’s praise.
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“I am a big fan of Drew Brees. I think he’s truly one of the greatest quarterbacks, but he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag. OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high,” Trump tweeted. “We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag-NO KNEELING!”