Trump to NFL owners: Fire players who don’t stand for the national anthem


President Trump today called on NFL owners to cut any players who don’t stand for the national anthem, the strongest statement yet from the president about the anthem protests that began last year with Colin Kaepernick and have since grown to include players on several teams.

“We’re proud of our country. We respect our flag,” Trump said to loud applause at a campaign event in Alabama. “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’s fired! He’s fired!”

Trump said an NFL owner who releases a player would instantly gain broad support across America.

“Some owner’s gonna do that. He’s gonna say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag? He’s fired. And that owner . . . they’ll be the most popular person in this country. Because that’s total disrespect of our heritage. That’s total disrespect of everything we stand for,” Trump said.

Trump added that he believes fans should walk out if players don’t stand for the anthem.

“If you see it, even if it’s one player,” Trump said, “Leave the stadium.”

157 responses to “Trump to NFL owners: Fire players who don’t stand for the national anthem

  1. Or, how about this. We get rid of this silly notion that sporting events need to be a public display of patriotism at all and get rid of the pre-game anthem altogether.

  2. I’ve never been so embarrassed to be an American. Think about the pictures of presidents in order and then it get to this orange faced narcissist. Not saying Hilary was any better. It was basically a choice between turd sandwich and giant douche and the douche won.

  3. The thing is, no matter how completely fascist Trump’s statement is at its core, there’s still a whole bunch of entire red states that idolize him, and I wonder if fans really will walk away or switch channels based just on his remarks.

  4. As a business man, you’d think he’d know all business men do what’s best for their product (team) and the bottom dollar. Kap is out because he no longer brought a value to SF and also sucked. Other player protestors are in because they offer value. Capitalism, isn’t that what’s made us so great, and something Trump should know? Morals and money are like fire and ice, they just don’t mix. Don’t hate the player (no pun intended) hate the game (again no pun intended).

  5. So embarrassing to have a president that’s not scared to say what’s on his mind, and he hurts people’s feelings. Time to go to your safe space and vent

  6. Cutting for 1st offense is extreme. Need to start with fines and suspensions. Progressive discipline for repeat offenders.

  7. A government official putting pressure on a private entity to censor its employees is a direct violation of the First Amendment. Yes it is true that private companies can censor their employees on their own, but if said censorship is a result of direct government pressure, then the employee has a clear-cut case of their constitutional rights being violated.

  8. Thank you Mr. President. They sure love cashing those checks don’t they? Congress needs to pull the antitrust exemption from the NFL right away. All these greedy owners will get what is coming to them.

  9. Can we get his opinion on billionaire owners using taxpayers $$ to build stadiums for their teams? Keep in mind some owners strongly supported him.

  10. This guy needs a job. He has way too much free time. Maybe just go play golf, continue the heist of American treasure and shut up. Face it, the only thing Trump has in common with his rabid fans, is the fact that he’s white. Casting a black guy as the enemy, is pretty easy in Alabama, except on Saturdays.

    What if offended black parents decided to send their sons AWAY from Tuscaloosa? Crimson Tide would be reduced to a red trickle.

  11. America. The country that was founded on blindly following the rules of it’s government…no, wait.

  12. Says the draft dodging, racist disgrace of a man? As a veteran, I am disgusted by this non-elected, non-American vile person. I hope to see every single player kneeling this Sunday!

  13. As someone has said about Trump, he is mentally deranged, a load of nonsense, and sounds like a dog barking. It’s so embarrassing having this guy the leader of the USA.

  14. ““If you see it, even if it’s one player,” Trump said, “Leave the stadium.”

    I guess this means the crowds in 14 to 16 stadiums a week will look like last night’s 49ers game…

  15. Everything he said makes me hope to see more players and fans refusing to stand for the anthem. I’ve had a tough time forcing myself to stand during the few live events I’ve attended lately and I hope this will give me the courage to stand up for what I believe in next time by sitting down through the anthem.

  16. There was an ESPN movie about Trump and the USFL. If I recall correctly, he insisted they move from a spring to a fall schedule. Strongly contributed to the league falling apart. They won a law suit vs the NFL, and got $1 in damages.

    He could have hired Don Shula from the Dolphins. The deal fell through because he refused to include a condo in trump towers as part of the contract.

  17. Then he went on a rant about 15 yard penalties on mild plays, and how this isn’t the same game anymore, which is why NFL ratings are down do far. Hilarious. Not sure where it belongs in a presidential speech, but he’s right.

  18. For you folks that support this abomination of a President, you truly don’t support this country or the principles this country was founded on. Be a Conservative, hate liberals, fine. But don’t tell me THIS guy is good for us. We will ALL be better off when a sane person, no matter what party, is back in the office.

  19. I have never been more proud to be an American and as my father gave his life for this country, I was fortunate to have escaped multiple engagements to survive.

    You hate cops or love those who wear sock using pigs as a reference. Because there are a few bad ones but when someone says blacks are five times more inclined to commit murder, you cry racism and a disproportionate rate of convictions? Gee, I wonder why? You see a legitimate white racist and think we’re all racist, such hypocrisy is pathetic.

    Like Floyd Mayweather, the preeminent philosopher said, Trump, says what men think, what men say in the locker room, at the card game or in the club? Were all by definition today, misogynist…

    Go to a few of the over 70 plus countries I have been to and then tell me what everyone wants to come here?

    BTW, those like me who support Trump do so because of his policies, not his character, which is apparently more flawed than many of you self-righteous here.

    Get a life and look in the mirror…

  20. I HATE politics. I raved my country as a submariner for 8 1/2 years, and now I’m in he final stages of the police recruiting process.

    With this being said, shut up Donald. I CANT STAND people kneeling for our anthem, but I served this country for people to be who they want to be…regardless of how ridiculous it can get.

  21. He’s not wrong. Agree or not, the players have the right to protest or raise awareness for whatever it is they choose. Their employers also have a right, a right to fire them (or not sign them). I respect both sides, as we all should. The NFL is a business that employees many. If you’re an employee of “The Shield”, you have to play by the rules. That’s true for any job at any level. Like it or not, that’s how it works. And guess what, there is a million other dudes willing to step in and take the place of anyone who decides to leave the company.

  22. I think players should stand for the anthem but I’m not comfortable with the president trying to get them fired for not doing so.

  23. Sports is our path to political avoidance. Making a stand by sitting is a political statement. True power comes from within and not by the owner’s dime. Makes him a Hippocrite and nullifies his stance. ‘Hey boss man, can you pay for my protest?’

    President Trump is right to ask owners to stop funding their adversary by firing them.

  24. It doesn’t matter what side your on here. To support a person in power who talks like this is just disgusting. America was built on people standing up to the government. Don’t tell me you are for small government and support this view. Don’t have to agree but to have people in power talking like this is scary. Pretty soon we will be saying “We were just following orders”.

  25. Trump has the right to say everything he did and the owners have the right to do his suggestions. Everyone should be applauding these rights even kaepernick.

  26. You can’t fire someone for not breaking a rule. If the players were told they had to stand then fair enough but they aren’t

  27. You know what; I support Trump and the Anthem Protests annoy me to the point I almost don’t feel like watching…however, he is dead wrong here. It is not the President of the United States responsibility to tell the Owner of any business what to do or not to do with their employees. If an Owner or GM chooses to cut someone because they bring unwanted attention by protesting, so be it. The 1st Amendment protects you from Govt and him condemning it to that degree is hypocritical.

  28. I guess his managerial incompetence cannot crew up a Pro Football League TOO badly. Ah wait, there’s the USFL…..

  29. It seems like people aren’t showing up to stadiums to begin with…or turning on their tv’s.

    Ratings are down. Attendance is down.

    Looks like the damage has been done already.

  30. It would be a gutsy move on the owners part , require a deep depth chart and a Head Coach that would be able to handle issues , I am guessing Robert Kraft might be the guy to pull such a maneuver off successfully .

  31. I agree that owners should police their players. Exactly how they choose to run their business should be up to them. If they want to allow players to sit during the anthem thats their choice. That’s the current system. Fans can now vote with their wallet.

  32. Finally a pro-American President with common sense after 8 years.

    They’re at work anytime they’re wearing the uniform and can be seen on camera. Protest on your own time or get more of your own time by quitting or being fired.

  33. Doesn’t matter much to me, but I find it interesting that as of posting this, there are only 7 comments, but all have about 1500 thumbs up or down in the proportions of roughly 2/3 to 3/4 against Trump. I have never seen so many “thumbs” on so few comments. Seems odd…

  34. Right-wingers and their adolescent affection for praising an economic system built on exploitation while claiming to be of a religious faith which is the exact antithesis to it. The problem is this man-boys are afraid of real men (Obama) and have gathered together to try to discredit him and any other great man because they don’t know how to be one themselves.

  35. Well, it’s official now. There is no escaping politics watching football. Trump, stay the fudge out of my sports world you ace hole.

  36. I swear that Trump is the baddie from Who Framed Roger Rabbit! One day he’ll pull his mask off and underneath will be a cartoon character.

    Trump is (somehow) a businessman. If he had an employee who was worth millions to his company refuse to stand during a national anthem, then there is no way on Earth that he would fire him.

  37. number1hawkfan says:
    September 22, 2017 at 11:00 pm
    I’ve never been so embarrassed to be an American. Think about the pictures of presidents in order and then it get to this orange faced narcissist. Not saying Hilary was any better. It was basically a choice between turd sandwich and giant douche and the douche won.

    So it comes down to skin color?

  38. Finally a President who wants to put America first. He is right. Fire those bums. I missed my first Patriots game in 25 years last week for a variety of reasons but one of them is that I am losing interest. One reason is I won’t watch these illiterate jerks disrespect our country. I love being there for the anthem and for the show of patriotism. 99% of the people there love it. Trump may be off on some stuff but he is spot on with this.

  39. Isn’t this something that North-Korea would do? Because, you know, they ain’t the Land of the Brave and the Free? Just saying…

  40. If only he would have had the balls and integrity to speak out like this against the KKK, neo-nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, but then that would’ve been goin against his Make America Great Again mantra…

  41. If a player disrespects the country then fire the player. If the President embarrasses the country then fire the President.

  42. number1hawkfan says:
    September 22, 2017 at 11:00 pm
    I’ve never been so embarrassed to be an American. Think about the pictures of presidents in order and then it get to this orange faced narcissist. Not saying Hilary was any better. It was basically a choice between turd sandwich and giant douche and the douche won.

    But you won’t leave America and go live somewhere else, will you?

  43. Que the bash Trump thread. Here’s an idea; how about a website named Pro Football Talk stop extensively covering this topic? Stick to the game, not the pre game crap!

  44. Lets see if I have this right…… anyone who disrespects the flag should be immediately fired and is a son of a bitch. But if someone is part of the KKK and flies a confederate flag…a symbol of treason against the US and the American flag…those people are “good people”. OK…got it. SMH

  45. This coming from a guy who wants to take healthcare away from millions, including our veterans.

  46. Only in the world of Prima Donna athletes can an employee OFFEND the customer and keep a job …… And not on personal time but on company time in company uniform..
    The rest of us would be fired

  47. While I agree with him (possibly for the 1st time) I’d like to see how he would feel if someone told him to fire someone that was making money for him. Or for people to stop buying his products because of someone that was working for him. It would never happen. Even though I would like to see that happen, it probably won’t. He was just pandering to the crowd again.

  48. I was anti-Kaep from the beginning but I gotta give the guy credit for asking a vet, “Hey, I need to get my message across and I don’t want to offend you; how do I do that?” It was a vet that suggested he kneel, and not stand. I have no issue with players standing up (ha) for what they believe in and doing it in a way as to not offend the brave men and women that have fought and died for our country. The only problem, of course, is that Kaep was first and this cost him his football career,

  49. ##illegitimate45 Doesn’t know anything about national pride. Lying, cheating, treasonous scum. He can barely run the White House so he needs to close his mouth about running the NFL.

  50. Again, the reason people be so agitated over this issue isn’t because of the sitting, it’s because of the cause they’re sitting for. If Kap said he was sitting to protest the deplorable conditions that Americans veterans are faced with, he’d be a hero

  51. These players really don’t care about the issues if they did they would be marching in Chicago were gang violence was at all time high under previous president

  52. As a guy who leans lib…. I do have a issue seeing protests using our anthem as the catalyst….it seems entitled and disrespectful to live here, get to use our streets and schools and protected by our military, and then to be so distasteful about it. I do believe folks and folks in position to do so have the right to protest and should….but this was a distasteful way to do it. There is no doubt that there are social issues that need to be addressed, and it is irresponsible for those with the power to do so not to use that platform. I wish they had of found a less offensive way to do it.

  53. Trump is the one that should be fired its obvious that he is a racist and doesn’t care about anything except money and being on the news he has made America a place that only deplorable would want to live.

  54. 7 comments. Aside from one or two, do you leftist loons now realize how small a minority you are in? Stand for the anthem. If anything shows unity it is 60 or 70 thousand people standing together during our national anthem. If you can’t agree with for a couple minutes, I once per week, how are we supposed to get along the rest of the time? All the leftist socialist need to slither back under their rocks.

  55. Sooooooooo, the president is saying that American citizens should be fired for exercising their first amendment rights. How presidential.

    Look, you don’t have to like it—you don’t have to agree with it, but they have the right as Americans to do this, and you can’t take that away. You know who tries to strip citizens of their rights?–dictators and despots.

    If you are supporting Trump’s words here then you are being thoroughly and utterly un-American. That’s just a fact. You are flying in the face of the freedoms our soldiers fought for and then trying to use soldier’s and the military as a means to explain it. I have talked to soldier after soldier, and to a man, not one of them has had a problem with the kneeling. So, at the very least, stop using the military as a reason to strip citizen’s of their rights.

    If you support American rights then you have to support their right to peaceful protest. It’s a right granted to ALL OF US by the constitution. Period.

  56. MAGA! Thank you Mr Predident for whooping Crooked Hillary out of politics! Now build the wall!


  57. Thats really up to the owners who they employ and no one else. Trumps ask here is just as out of line as the people that thought an owner should be obligated to sign Kaepernick.

  58. I’m not a supporter of Trump at all, but it hurts me when a player doesn’t stand at attention for the national anthem. There are other ways to protest social injustices.

  59. Stick to politics, Mr. President. Trump shouldn’t be involved in football just like we don’t want the players to get political on the field.

  60. The trajectory that the NFL’s ratings are on is proof that the silent majority is starting to tune out. An argument can be made that this decline in ratings is due to us regular folks becoming disenchanted with seeing our flag and our traditions disrespected.

    Without the fans, there will be no more NFL football. Me thinks that chages will be made (personal conduct clause in all contracts or modification of union labor agreement) far too late to make a difference, in true NFL style.

  61. Misleading headline. Saying “wouldnt you like to see……” is hardly an “order to fire” the players. But, not surprised this website would do that. Journalistic standards have gone out the window with 98% of so-called “journalists” today. Cant let facts get in the way of a phony narrative- such as the one where a guy who got a free ride through college, made tens of millions, but then QUIT the job is somehow “oppressed” by the employer he QUIT on……

  62. Every American has the right to a peaceful protest. But if a player uses the NFL broadcast as their stage they are taking their airtime and those players should be charged the going rate same as commercial advertisers

  63. In the real world you don’t do things in the job under the guise of free speech that makes your employer look bad and lose customers. What you do off the job on your own time a different story. Why millionaires playing sports bring it to their jobs is a joke. Not saying they don’t have points to make its just it wouldn’t fly on jobs in the real world.. Take 2

  64. The President just said what every red blooded American is thinking. God Bless America the greatest country on the planet. Where anyone and everyone can be succesful if they chose to be.

  65. Embarrassed, totally. Wrong, absolutely. Ignorant, definitely. I wonder if POTUS is a Bronco or Bucs fan? He has to be, right? Why else would he paint himself orange?

  66. Has there ever been a President that anyone agreed with 100% of the time?
    I suppose if your a sheep. But self enriching Hillary would burn a flag if it
    made her $ 50 so I will never ever believe we’d be better off with that troll
    as our President.

  67. Yeah, take advice from the Bankruptcy King that destroyed the USFL at your own peril. He must be busy stealing again and not getting anything actual done for the country. Draft Dodger #1 giving people lectures on patriotism is rich though.

  68. Just to clarify, the first amendment does NOT grant anyone permission to protest at work. That is entirely at the employers discretion. Currently owners are allowing it which is fine, thats their call to make. But if any of them ever choose to say “not at my games wearimg my uniform” they can do that and its not an infringement on anyone’s rights. The people that think protesting at games is a first amendment matter are largely people that dont have a lot of workplace experience or they would know better what the rules are really.

  69. I love being told how to display my American heritage. I love being expected to think and act like an out of touch 72 year old billionaire who doesn’t have to deal with his own policies.

  70. Donald Trump: “America Is Not Great.”
    – Some people cheer.
    Colin Kaepernick: “America Is Not Great.”
    – The same people boo.
    Now just remember, this isn’t about race.

  71. My problem with Kaepernick is that he has always been disgusting off the field. His disgusting supporters made the NFL more resolute in not hiring him. Trump just gave them a great excuse to bring Kaepernick back. These players now have a legit rallying cry against this cheeto facist.

    Trump is a disgusting turd. When he speaks, people do the opposite. I would never buy a red 7, but I want a yellow and blue 30 now.

    Go Golden State!

  72. No what needs to happen is all the players of color unite and kneel or not play!!! Now thats a protest! BUT money always wins…………

  73. I have a feeling that every NFL franchise just took a multi-million dollar hit on net worth. Goodell best figure out how to squelch this ‘cluster’ that he’s let fester since last season before he drives another nail into the NFL’s already half-nailed coffin.

  74. These players need to spend their own money on Commercials.
    My bet is new Contracts will have an anti-demonstration clause in them. Personally I still believe in “Sticks and Stones” People that do not agree have their right to free speech too!

  75. Starting boycotts does not create jobs. I thought he was trying to help the economy. Why would he even think to encourage a boycott of one of the largest enterprises in the country? What’s next, boycott Walmart and McDonald’s too? …Maybe Facebook and Google while we’re at it.

  76. philipdebin says:
    September 23, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Starting boycotts does not create jobs. I thought he was trying to help the economy. Why would he even think to encourage a boycott of one of the largest enterprises in the country? What’s next, boycott Walmart and McDonald’s too? …Maybe Facebook and Google while we’re at it.
    True, just like Trump is giving Foxcom all kinds of love although they have yet to invst anything in America without huge tax payers subsididies and will never give Amazon the time of day who has created jobs galore…

  77. So the president is telling private business’s how to run their business and force behaviors of their employees?

    As a disabled veteran I support liberty… which means the choice to stand or kneel or burn the flag and berate this president or the last one.
    Mandatory patriotism has lead to horrible outcomes over the centuries.

  78. It’s sad the discussion is focussed on how these athletes should be punished instead of what can be done so they want to stand.

  79. This whole protest is built on lies and stupidity. Maybe if some of these outstanding citizens followed the cops instructions they wouldn’t have been shot.

  80. The president behaving like a child and making abhorrent comments about these players and their mothers is not surprising. It’s also not surprising his diehard fans have a similar mental capacity and understanding of tact and what is and is not appropriate behavior for the leader of the free world. Top it off with his defense of the nazis in Charlotte and it is no wonder 99% of the NFL basically gave him the finger. Yesterday wasn’t even about the police protest. It was about our president taking time out of his day to behave like an uncouth, narcissistic, buffoon.

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