Donald Trump Appears to Take Shot at NFL When Discussing Standing for Anthem

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2018

US President Donald Trump walks through the Rose Garden as he arrives to honor NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. and his team, during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, May 21, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/Getty Images

President Donald Trump made an apparent allusion to the protest movement throughout the NFL on Monday when he praised some in NASCAR who have moved to stifle protests during the national anthem.

Bob Hille of Omnisport (h/t Sporting News) shared Trump's comments:

"At every NASCAR race, you will see thousands of patriotic Americans, from the grandstands to the pit stalls, proudly waving our flag. ... One thing I know about NASCAR and I will tell you, they do indeed stand for the playing of the national anthem. Somebody said, 'Maybe you shouldn't say that. It's going to be controversial.' I said, 'That's OK. NASCAR isn't going to mind it at all.'"

Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick sparked the movement when he remained seated for "The Star-Spangled Banner" during a 2016 preseason game. He later told NFL Network's Steve Wyche he was protesting against police violence and racial inequality. Since then, more players have taken up the cause.

Last fall, Trump expressed a desire to see NFL team owners punish any players who chose to kneel in protests during the national anthem.

"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!'" Trump told supporters during a rally.

The New York Times' Ken Belson and Mark Leibovich reported NFL owners held a meeting with players and league executives about a month after Trump's comments to discuss the situation. According to Belson and Leibovich, the owners were "intent on finding a way to avoid Trump's continued criticism."

Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported in March league owners discussed the matter during the annual league meeting but stopped short of making any changes to NFL guidelines regarding the anthem.

Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reported Sunday owners will again address the situation during the spring meetings; however, it's unclear whether enough owners are on board to make any leaguewide anthem policies.

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