Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who has drawn criticism for his remark about "respecting the White House," spoke out Sunday to clarify his words.
After Saturday's loss to the Brewers, a reporter asked Maddon for his thoughts about the controversy involving President Donald Trump's tweets the past couple of days. Maddon said today he didn't know what Trump had said on Twitter.
“I had no idea what he said,” Maddon said Sunday (via the Chicago Tribune). “I mean, how would I? I had no idea what was said prior to asking me that question.
"So my response was typical: Always respect the office and the White House and the seat of the presidency, like I said before when we attended (a ceremony with Trump). That was what my response was all about. It had nothing to do with the situation.”
Maddon says he quickly realized he'd erred when he read criticism of his remarks.
“I’ve always spoken what’s on my mind, and I’ve always respected other people doing the same," Maddon said. "It’s that simple. I just did not know the context of the question, and then when I read about it (Saturday) night when I got back to my room, I could understand what all the uproar was about easily.
"But I had no idea after the game that’s what (Trump) had said.”
So how does Maddon feel about athletes protesting during the national anthem?
“I’m all into self-expression,” he said. “And if a player feels he needs to express himself in that manner, so be it.”