President Donald J. Trump has reignited the ongoing national anthem debate after firing off a tweet aimed at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. After Goodell spent the week hearing from players about how the league could better support its players in combating social injustice, Trump inquired whether the league would now support players kneeling during the Star Spangled Banner.
“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?” Trump asked.
This is just the latest comment Trump has offered in this ongoing debate. In 2017, Trump offered his thoughts on the matter during a stop in Alabama.
We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. 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. #InspireChange pic.twitter.com/ENWQP8A0sv
— NFL (@NFL) June 5, 2020
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b*tch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired,'” he said.
More recently, Goodell has pledged his support to players looking to speak out against social injustices across the globe. In a statement released on Friday, the commissioner said the league would “encourage all players to speak out and peacefully protest.”
“We, the National Football League, believe that black lives matter,” Goodell added.
Goodell nor the NFL has issued a statement since Trump’s latest statement.
More updates will be added to this story as it develops.