Rex Ryan, the former coach of the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets football teams, declared that he’s “pissed off” at President Donald Trump for Trump’s comments about NFL players who “take a knee” during the National Anthem.
Ryan is a commentator ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown. He used that platform to criticize the president; the comments drew attention because Ryan has previously been a Trump supporter. You can watch the video of what Ryan said on ESPN here:
Rex Ryan said:
Let me tell you, I’m pissed off, I’ll be honest with you. I supported Donald Trump. I sat back when he asked me to introduce him at a rally in Buffalo, I did that. But I’m reading these comments, and it’s appalling to me. And I’m sure it’s appalling to almost any citizen in our country. It should be. Calling our players SOBs and all that stuff. That’s not the men that I know. Men that I know in the locker room, I’m proud to be associated with those people. I apologize for being pissed off, but guess what, that’s it. Because right away, I’m associated with what Donald Trump stands for and all that because I introduced him. I never signed up for that. I never wanted that. That doesn’t mean I support 100-percent of the things he says, and clearly this is a case.
Trump started the war of words with the NFL on Friday, calling players who don’t stand for the National Anthem a “son of a b-tch.” He doubled down on Twitter over the weekend. On Sunday, Trump again called for NFL owners to fire or suspend players who don’t stand for the Anthem. However, multiple owners have since defended their players’ right to protest.
Specifically, Trump said on Friday, according to New York Upstate, “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!’ You know, some owner is gonna do that. He’s gonna say, ‘That guy disrespects our flag; he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it. They don’t know it. They’re friends of mine, many of them. They don’t know it. They’ll be the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country.”
Ryan, while Buffalo Bills coach, had introduced Trump at a rally in 2016 in Buffalo, New York. At that time he said, according to New York Upstate, “There’s so many things I admire about Mr. Trump, but one thing I really admire about him is, you know what, he’ll say what’s on his mind. But so many times, you’ll see people, a lot of people want to say the same thing. But there’s a big difference. They don’t have the courage to say it. They all think it, but they don’t have the courage to say it.”