Trump calls for fans to boycott NFL over anthem spat

Donald Trump
The president has vented his frustrations at the NFL.

President Donald Trump has called for sports fans to boycott the NFL after 130 players took a knee or raised their fist in defiance during the pre-game national anthem at the weekend.

An irate Trump took to Twitter on Sunday afternoon to call for the NFL to ban players who did not stand for the anthem and claimed the game was riddled with “bad ratings”.

“Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL should change policy!” he wrote.

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His tweets come after he chastised players at a political rally in Alabama on Friday, calling those who didn’t stand for the anthem a “son of a bitch”.

“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 … He is fired’,” Mr Trump told the crowd.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Trump’s comments showed a “unfortunate lack of respect” for the NFL and its players.

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Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft released a statement backing his players and their right to protest.

While Trump has spent much of the weekend focussing on the NFL, his son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner has been accused of using his private email to do White House business.

Some have suggested that Trump’s onslaught of tweets about the NFL are an attempt to distract from the story on Kushner.

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Trump’s team ridiculed Hillary Clinton throughout the 2016 election campaign over her use of private emails while she was Secretary of State. 

There is no suggestion Kushner discussed classified material in any of the emails. Neither Trump nor Kushner himself have publicly commented on the report as yet.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think NFL players have a right to kneel or should they be forced to stand for the anthem?