President Donald Trump has conflicted thoughts on the NFL restarting. Trump tweeted his support of the league’s safety precautions Friday, but reiterated he would not watch football in 2020 if players are allowed to kneel during the national anthem.
Trump’s comments come a day after Dr. Anthony Fauci threw cold water on the idea football would be played this year. Fauci said players would have to be kept in a bubble and tested every day to ensure the league was safe.
The president disagreed with Fauci’s pessimism, essentially telling Fauci to stop talking about the NFL.
Tony Fauci has nothing to do with NFL Football. They are planning a very safe and controlled opening. However, if they don’t stand for our National Anthem and our Great American Flag, I won’t be watching!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2020
While Trump’s tweet initially comes off as supportive of the NFL, he chastises the league in his second sentence. It’s far from the first time Trump has indicated he won’t watch the NFL if players are allowed to kneel. Trump has consistently criticized the league for how it has handled player protests.
Trump told New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees he would regret apologizing for his anthem comments, questioned why Roger Goodell said “Black Lives Matter” in a video and once again weighed in on Colin Kaepernick.
Trump hit many of the same notes in 2016, when Kaepernick started peacefully protesting police brutality and racial injustice in the United States. If Trump’s actions back then are any indication, he’ll have a lot more to say about the NFL in 2020, especially considering the league isn’t likely to reverse course on allowing players to kneel during the season.
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