Trump NFL row: Sports stars round on US president | 2017-09-24 |

Trump NFL row: Sports stars round on US president

Sun Online Desk     24th September, 2017 09:51:03 printer

Trump NFL row: Sports stars round on US president


US President Donald Trump is facing growing condemnation from the sports world after his criticism of players.


On Friday, Mr Trump said the National Football League (NFL) should fire players who protest during the US anthem.


High-profile football players as well as basketball star LeBron James openly criticised Mr Trump in response.


One NFL team owner said Mr Trump's comments were "offensive" but Mr Trump has gone on to repeat his criticism.


What did Mr Trump say?


At a rally on Friday night, Mr Trump said NFL players who protested during the playing of the national anthem should be fired by their team - referencing a controversial string of protests over race relations started by player Colin Kaepernick last year.


"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," he told a cheering crowd.


NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement saying "divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect".


President Trump, however, doubled down on his comments, tweeting that the commissioner was "trying to justify the total disrespect certain players show to our country. Tell them to stand!"


The NFL Players' Association, meanwhile, said the president had crossed the line by effectively telling players to just "shut up and play".


Association president Eric Winston said Mr Trump's comments were "a slap in the face to the civil rights heroes of the past and present" and those who spilled blood to uphold American values.


Source: BBC