Trump puts NFL players on notice: Stand for national anthem

U.S. president has been outspoken against football players kneeling

President Donald Trump is putting pro football players on notice for Week 4 of the NFL season: He won’t stand for it if they kneel in protest during the national anthem.

At Sunday’s first game, in London, New Orleans Saints players, coaches and staff knelt before the start of the anthem but stood in unison once it began. On the Miami Dolphins’ sideline, three players were on one knee during the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Amid a series of tweets Saturday against criticism of the federal response to hurricane damage in Puerto Rico, the president returned to the world of sports and society: “Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!”

Protesting during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” drew national attention last season when Colin Kaepernick, then a quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers, declined to stand as a way to bring attention to police treatment of blacks and to social injustice.

During a speech at a political rally in Alabama on Sept. 22, Trump called for NFL owners to fire players who engaged in such a protest. In the days that followed the president issued a series of tweets reiterating his views and calling for a fan boycott of games.

Criticism from players, owners and fans — and some praise — greeted Trump’s remarks.

The controversy boiled for days and seemed to overshadow other issues facing the Trump presidency, including the failure of Republicans to repeal and replace the nation’s health care law; the Senate primary loss in Alabama of Trump’s favoured candidate; a turbulent hurricane season; and tensions over North Korea’s missiles and nuclear weapons.

“I do really believe his heart’s in the right place,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“I think what matters is that we have to show people that we are an inclusive society, that we want everyone to succeed,” he said.

Ryan also acknowledged that the original point of the player demonstration — racial injustice and police mistreatment of African-Americans — has become obscured by the narrower issue of how to act during the anthem.

“I think we should just have separate and distinct conversations. Because when you merge it into the flag and the anthem, it’s lost,” Ryan said.

Relatively few players had demonstrated before Trump’s remarks. Last Sunday, more than 100 NFL players sat, knelt or raised their fists in defiance during the national anthem.

The Associated Press

Just Posted

Police seek witnesses to fatal weekend accident

Wayne Kernachan was struck by a vehicle while responding to an accident

Pedestrian killed on Highway 22 Saturday evening

Police say 51-year-old man died after being hit by car

UPDATE: DriveBC says highway re-opened after accident

Highway 22 closed for seven hours on Saturday

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Métis Flag flies in Trail on Louis Riel Day

Area students, officials and public attend flag raising at Trail City Hall

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car following B.C. crash

Man defecates in the street before throwing it at a driver locked in her vehicle

Jamie Koe, other curlers kicked out of bonspiel for being too drunk

‘You don’t kick around other players’ bags, it’s disrespectful and we expect better of our players’

Homicide victim found under B.C. bridge identified as Hells Angels member

Chad John Wilson was one of four men arrested in Spain in 2013 on allegations of smuggling cocaine.

Most Read