President Donald Trump reacted to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s apology video Wednesday night, saying “nobody even asked for it.”
The president expressed concern that NFL players may resume kneeling for the national anthem. Trump had previously stated that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began the initial wave of national anthem protests in 2016, should get another shot in the NFL if he’s good enough to play. (RELATED: Trump Worries That Roger Goodell Will Allow NFL Players To Kneel For Anthem Again)
“He can only get it if he has the ability,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “They’re not gonna lose games because of, you know, wanting to be politically correct, or whatever term. I don’t know if that’s politically correct or the opposite.”
Trump then pivoted to the national anthem, restating his desire to see all players stand for the anthem before games.
“When the national anthem plays, and our flag, the great American flag is raised, you should not be kneeling,” the president said. “You should be standing, ideally with your hand on your heart, or saluting, but they should not be kneeling. They can protest enough.”
“You have to stand when the flag goes up, and I think they’ll lose a lot of fans, and a lot of support in the NFL,” Trump continued. “I was surprised that Roger, Roger Goodell, that he would have done what he did, and made this statement that he made. Nobody was even asking for it.”
Goodell released a video earlier this month following the death of George Floyd, where he apologized for not “listening” to the concerns of players earlier.
“We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People,” Goodell said. “We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter.”