The silent rebuke to the president, decided independently by every of the 28 NFL groups in motion Sunday, represented an unprecedented collective motion and present of solidarity amongst gamers who battle towards each other sixteen weeks, some extra, every season.
Some, such because the Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles, have been joined on the sideline by their workforce house owners, Shahid Khan and Jeffrey Lurie, respectively. Most have been joined in standing shoulder-to-shoulder by coaches, employees and, in some instances, cops.
All however 5 of the NFL’s 32 staff house owners and CEOs issued statements Saturday night time and into Sunday morning in response to Trump’s campaign towards protesting NFL gamers, which started in earnest throughout a Friday night time rally in Alabama. After making a thinly veiled allusion to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sparked a nationwide debate by taking a knee throughout August 2016 preseason video games to protest police violence towards minorities, Trump referred to as on NFL coaches to get the “son of a b—” gamers off the sector in the event that they continued to kneel. The president repeated his name with no much less depth on Twitter on Saturday and Sunday morning.
The tenor and substance of these remarks, together with criticism that NFL rule-modifications for security’s sake had made the sport boring, triggered reactions from many gamers, coaches and executives. Whereas removed from universally in favor of Kaepernick’s technique of protest, many homeowners issued statements defending the rights of gamers – and all People – to precise themselves on issues they’re keen about.
Among the many extra notable was New England Patriots proprietor Robert Kraft, a vocal Trump supporter and a $1 million donor to his inaugural.
“There isn’t a larger unifier on this nation than sports activities and, sadly, nothing extra divisive than politics,” Kraft wrote in his assertion launched Sunday morning. “I feel our political leaders might study so much from the teachings of teamwork and the significance of working collectively towards a standard objective.”
Redskins proprietor Daniel Snyder was amongst those that had remained silent in the course of the day Sunday, however he was anticipated to challenge a press release near the eight:30 p.m. kickoff at FedEx Area.
NFL recreation day started in London’s Wembley Stadium, the place the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars kicked off at 9:30 a.m. ET, following two early morning tweets by which Trump reiterated his objections to anthem protesters and appeared to encourage followers who agreed with him to cease attending…