President Donald Trump, a one-time soccer team owner, is ratcheting up a number of their stars and his rhetoric against professional sports — and at least one league and some athletes are currently giving it back.
Hours after profanely criticizing NFL players who protest police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem, Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to disinvite National Basketball Association star Stephen Curry from a White House look traditional for championship sports teams. His team, the Golden State Warriors, said it won’t see Trump. On Sunday, he suggested a boycott of all NFL games.
Hours later, Trump doubled down on #x 2019 & his previous night;s criticism of NFL players who protest after being rebuked by the league’s commissioner. “If a participant wants the privilege of earning millions of dollars in the NFL or other leagues, they should not be permitted to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem,” he wrote on Twitter. “If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do! ”
From Sunday, the president suggested in a tweet that audiences act. “If NFL fans refuse to go to stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place. Fire or suspend! ”
Trump’s tweets at Curry, the two-time NBA most valuable player, followed the president’s remarks at a rally in Alabama Friday night, in which he said that owners of soccer teams whose players kneel should inform their coaches: “Get that son of a bitch off the field at this time, he’s fired. He’s fired! ”
The criticisms, directed primarily at black athletes, came after Trump fanned racial flames in August by repeatedly equating the actions of either side following the death of a woman who had been protesting against a demonstration by neo-Nazis, white supremacists and Confederate heritage groups in Charlottesville, Virginia.
#x 2019; protests & the soccer players are “a disrespect of our heritage,” Trump said. “That’s a disrespect for everything we stand for. We respect our flag. ”
Among the athletes denouncing Trump on Saturday was NBA star LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who called the president a “bum”his confirmed Twitter account. “@StephenCurry30 already said he aint going! So ain’t no invitation. Going to the White House was a fantastic honor until you showed up! ” James tweeted.
Curry had said it to protest Trump’s policies, he didn’t need to create the White House visit, and didn’t believe his NBA-winning Warriors teammates must proceed.
The Oakland, California, established team responded in a statement on Saturday that it won’t see the White House when it comes to the state’s capital to take on the Washington Wizards, after Trump “made it clear we are not invited. ”
“In lieu of a trip to the White House, we have determined that we’ll constructively use our visit to the country’s capital in February to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion — the values that we adopt as an organization,” the Warriors said in the statement.
‘Lack of Respect’
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, without mentioning Trump, said Saturday that “#x 201D; #x 2019 & weren & divisive comments;t useful.
“The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a feeling of unity in our culture and our country,” Goodell said in a statement. “Divisive comments such as these show an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our game, and all of our players. ”
On Twitter Saturday, the trend.
Trump himself was once owner of the New Jersey Generals of the long-defunct United States Football League, which fought a losing battle against the NFL.
The anthem protests started in August 2016, when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled before a pre-season game. Kaepernick was joined in his protest by some teammates and players on other teams as the season progressed.
Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers in March and hasn’t.
The president also raised eyebrows Friday by saying that penalties for hits in the NFL are “destroying the game,” as the league tries to respond to evidence of long-term injury to a number of its players.
Trump’s comment came a day after news that Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots player convicted of murder who hanged himself in a Massachusetts prison in April at age 27, had been found to suffer from a serious case of this degenerative brain disorder chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) associated with repeated concussions.
Trump made comments about the NFL at least two in 2016, lamenting the demise of & #x 201D #x 201C head-on &; tackles; and deriding concussions as & #x 201C; a ding on the mind & #x 201D.
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that all but one of 111 former NFL players whose brains had been inspected had evidence of CTE, which could only be diagnosed post-mortem.
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