President Donald Trump began Tuesday in a fashion similar to how he spent parts of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday: by tweeting about the NFL and player protests during the national anthem.
“Ratings for NFL football are way down except before game starts, when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected!” Trump wrote. He then commented on the Dallas Cowboys, who knelt as a team on Monday Night Football (including owner Jerry Jones) before standing as a group when the national anthem began in earnest.
“The booing at the NFL football game last night, when the entire Dallas team dropped to its knees, was loudest I have ever heard. Great anger,” Trump wrote, adding in another tweet, “But while Dallas dropped to its knees as a team, they all stood up for our National Anthem. Big progress being made-we all love our country!”
Trump’s war with the NFL and players who protest racial injustice and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem began on Friday in Alabama. “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 said. “You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it. 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.”
No owner has listened to Trump’s rant thus far. Instead, the NFL has widely condemned Trump, including New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a friend of Trump’s who gave the president a Super Bowl ring after the Patriots’ latest championship.
Speaking Sunday, Trump said Kraft “has to take his ideas and go with what he wants.” The president added, “I think it’s very disrespectful to our country [to protest during the national anthem]. I think it’s very, very disrespectful to our flag. I like Bob very much, we’re friends. He gave me a Super Bowl ring a month ago, right? So he’s a good friend of mine, and I want him to do what he wants to do, but we have a great country, we have great people representing our country, especially our soldiers, our first responders, and they should be treated with respect, and when you get on your knee and you don’t respect the American flag or the anthem, that’s not being treated with respect.”
Following Trump’s Friday night attack, the president tweeted about the NFL throughout the weekend. The president made no mention of the reason for the protests and even claimed that players locking arms on the sidelines — a move done to protest Trump himself — was to promote solidarity for his message. Trump also claimed his attacks on the protests had nothing to do with race.