NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Saturday that President Trump’s recent comments about players kneeling during the national anthem are “divisive” and show a “lack of respect” for the pro football league and its players.
“The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture," he said in a statement. "Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.”
Goodell's statement follows Trump's comments during a rally Friday night in Alabama in which he slammed NFL players for knealing during the national anthem.
“We’re proud of our country," Trump said. "We respect our flag. Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say get that son of a b---h off the field, right now, out? He’s fired.”
Professional quarterback Colin Kaepernick, when he played last year for the San Francisco 49ers, knelt during the playing of the anthem before the start of games, in protest to police brutality and other concerns about the direction the direction of the country.
Other NFL players have since followed Kaepernick’s actions.