Donald Trump Tweets NFL Has Received 'Tremendous Backlash' for Anthem Protests

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2017

US President Donald Trump is seen during a signing ceremony for a memorandum on increasing access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in the Oval Office of the White House on September 25, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images

While the majority of the NFL's Week 3 slate is now in the rearview mirror, that didn't stop the sitting president from logging into his Twitter account yet again Monday and weighing in on the different forms of protest fans saw Sunday:

Donald Trump also tweeted late Sunday evening, saying "Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL should change policy!" 

NFL players protesting during the national anthem came up when Trump spoke at a Friday rally in Alabama. He said owners should respond to players protesting by saying "Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he's fired."

Trump also suggested fans shouldn't go to games until players stop protesting.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement denouncing Trump's "divisive comments" and praising the players' efforts in various communities.

A number of players and team owners participated in forms of protest Sunday, as Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman detailed. Among the most notable was the Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers not coming out for the national anthem, and Freeman noted a league official estimated there were as many as 400 players who protested in some manner.

The only Steeler who made an appearance during the anthem was offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva, who served in the Army. However, Villanueva said he is "absolutely" fine with teammates kneeling during the anthem and called all of his teammates patriotic in comments shared by Chris Adamski of the Tribune-Review in a Twitter thread.

Trump wasn't just in the crosshairs of NFL players, as LeBron James was one of many NBA players who spoke out against the president by calling him a "bum" on Twitter and saying, "Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!"

James was responding to Trump's saying he was withdrawing an invitation for the champion Golden State Warriors to visit the White House because Stephen Curry was hesitant to go—even though the two-time MVP didn't appear to hesitate when he told reporters "I don't want to go."

All of this comes after Colin Kaepernick made waves last season by kneeling during the national anthem as a way of protesting police brutality and racial inequality in this country. While protests during the anthem dominated the NFL news cycle Sunday and spread throughout many teams, Kaepernick is still without a club as a free-agent quarterback.

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