Put him in front of a crowd, and you can bet your mortgage that President Donald will say something controversial about an easy target that’s not around to defend themself. This time, he chose to take on professional athletes who kneel during the national anthem to show solidarity with social justice movements.
“That’s a total disrespect of our heritage. That’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for,” Trump told the crowd at an Alabama rally for senate candidate Luther Strange. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired.’” The partisan crowd erupted in applause.
It didn’t take long for the league to circle the wagons around its players. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, not exactly known as a champion of players’ rights, issued a stinging rebuke of the president’s attacks. “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players,” he said in a statement.
The executive director of the NFL Players Association, DeMaurice Smith, tweeted: “We will never back down. We no longer can afford to stick to sports.”
But it was the players themselves who launched the most effective counter attacks. Richard Sherman, the outspoken Seattle Seahawks defensive all-pro, wasted no time hitting social media to condemn the President’s comments in one of the most pointed tweets of any athlete yet. He even appeared to call for his impeachment.
The behavior of the President is unacceptable and needs to be addressed. If you do not Condemn this divisive Rhetoric you are Condoning it!!
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) September 23, 2017
We shouldn’t be surprised. Sherman is a key member of what’s been the best defense in the NFL for most of the last 5 years. Taking down loud mouth, trash talking divas is what he does best.