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Trump’s Message To The NFL And Its Players On The National Anthem: ‘NO KNEELING!’

In the wake of weeks of protests-turned-violent across the country after the unfortunate and tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of a bad apple in the Minneapolis Police Department, there’s a renewed call in the sports world to take a new stand against police brutality by kneeling for the United States flag.

Drew Brees, the ultra-popular NFL quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, posted a message last week condemning those who feel that kneeling for the flag is the right way to tackle the bigger issue, saying he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag.”

While Breese was praised by patriotic Americans and politicians for his words, not unexpectedly the backlash from his statement was intense — so intense that the star quarterback released an apology for his statement just a day later.

President Donald Trump responded to Brees’ statement and quick apology with a clear message to the sport world, specifically the NFL and players who have indicated that kneeling for the National Anthem might be an action taken when the season starts up.

“I am a big fan of Drew Brees. I think he’s truly one of the greatest quarterbacks, but he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag. OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high…We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag – NO KNEELING!” Trump tweeted on Friday.

The kneeling for the National Anthem movement was started by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, which sparked essentially and equal amount of praise and backlash in the world of NFL fans. League commissioner Roger Goodell, at the time, eventually squashed the movement.

But on the heels of the Floyd incident and the renewed calls for protest, Goodell changed his tune on the matter last week, saying in a short and surprising statement that the NFL would now “encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”

“Without black players, there would be no National Football League and the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of black players, coaches, fans and staff,” Goodell said.

 

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