Two weeks ago, ESPN admonished SportsCenter anchor Jemele Hill for criticizing President Trump. Today, ESPN turned its NFL pregame show into a Trump-bashing session, with a former supporter of Trump leading the way.
Former Bills coach Rex Ryan, who campaigned for Trump last year, led the way on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown. Ryan said he thought Trump’s criticism of the NFL and of players kneeling during the national anthem was way off-base.
“I’m pissed off,” Ryan said. “I supported Donald Trump. When he asked me to introduce him in a rally in Buffalo, I did that. But I’m reading his comments, and it’s appalling to me, and I’m sure it’s appalling to almost any citizen in our country. It should be. Calling our players SOBs and that stuff? That’s not the men I know. The men I know, I’m proud of. I’m proud to be associated with those people.”
Ryan said it upsets him that his support of Trump during the campaign now has people lumping him in with Trump.
“I never signed up for that. I never wanted that. That doesn’t mean I support everything he says,” Ryan said.
Ryan was joined on the ESPN set by Anquan Boldin, Samantha Ponder, Randy Moss, Matt Hasselbeck and Charles Woodson. All of them criticized Trump’s comments as well. For ESPN, whose president just instructed all his employees in a memo that “ESPN is not a political organization,” it was a strong statement against the president.