WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump continued his attacks on the NFL and players who have staged protests during the National Anthem, calling for a boycott unless they “stop disrespecting our flag and country.”
In a series of tweets on Sunday morning, Trump wrote that if fans refuse to go to games until players stop the protests, “you will change take place fast. Fire or suspend!”
Trump also attacked the NFL, calling games “boring” and saying that “many stay away because they love our country.”
Trump began his attacks on professional sports on Friday, when he told a rally 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 b— off the field right now, out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’”
Trump, who had been campaigning for Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), was referring to players who have kneeled during the National Anthem as a form of protest of racial injustice in the U.S.
In response, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called Trump’s remarks “divisive.”
In a rare statement on a political issue, Goodell said that “the NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month. 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.”