Trump’s tweet that NFL players are “unable to define” what it is they are actually protesting is making headlines, after another round of protests from NFL players during the pre-season opener Thursday night.
Kenny Stills, Robert Quinn and two-time Super Bowl winner Malcolm Jenkins were among the NFL players who protested during the national anthem on Thursday, while Colin Kaepernick tweeted his support. The protests drew criticism from many fans the president himself, with the president having an early-morning Twitter fit Friday.
President Trump once again suggested that NFL players be suspended without pay when they don’t “stand proudly” for the National Anthem.
“The NFL players are at it again – taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their “outrage” at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love…… Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!” he tweeted Friday morning.
In May, team owners passed a policy requiring players to remain in the locker room or stand on the sideline during the National Anthem. The Associated Press reported last month that the Dolphins had a provision in their player conduct manual, and anybody who violated that policy could be fined or suspended.
However, the NFL has since put the policy on hold, and no new rules have been created or enforced since. The players’ union was not consulted before the owners passed the new policy, and there are discussions still in the works with the NFL Players Association.
The NFL released a statement reiterating that it remains in conversation with the players union over the protests. The statement read:
“The NFL has been engaged in constructive discussions with the NFL Players Association regarding the anthem and issues of equality and social justice that are of concern to many Americans.
“While those discussions continue, the NFL has agreed to delay implementing or enforcing any club work rules that could result in players being disciplined for their conduct during the performance of the anthem.
“Meanwhile, there has been no change in the NFL’s policy regarding the national anthem. The anthem will continue to be played before every game, and all player and non-player personnel on the field at that time are expected to stand during the presentation of the flag and performance of the anthem. Personnel who do not wish to do so can choose to remain in the locker room.
“We remain committed to working with the players to identify solutions and to continue making progress on important social issues affecting our communities.”