Trump: Goodell Is ‘Killing The’ NFL

Robert Donachie | Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s handling of the ongoing player protests of the national anthem is “killing the league.”

“The NFL is now thinking about a new idea – keeping teams in the Locker Room during the National Anthem next season. That’s almost as bad as kneeling! When will the highly paid Commissioner finally get tough and smart? This issue is killing your league,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.

A number of NFL team owners are considering keeping players in the locker room during the presentation of the national anthem, a move meant to put an end to the protests and place the focus back on the game rather than politics. Goodell said after a series of meetings in New York with team owners regarding how to handle the protests in October that “everyone should stand for the national anthem” and that it is important to “honor our flag and our country.”

Trump has condemned the protest since the 2017-2018 NFL season kicked off in August. The president said in September that NFL owners should either fire or suspend players who kneel during the national anthem, and fans should not keep watching games if players continue to protest.

“The only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s 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 told a group gathered at a political rally in Huntsville, Al., in September.

“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!”

Former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem during the 2016 NFL season and sparked a mass wave of protests that have trickled down to Pop Warner football teams across the nation.

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