Doug Baldwin said Wednesday he was “not surprised” by the NFL’s new national anthem policy. A day later, the Seahawks receiver expressed even less surprise at President Trump’s suggestion that those who refuse to stand for the national anthem maybe “shouldn’t be in the country.”
“He’s an idiot, plain and simple,” Baldwin said, via video from Gregg Bell of The News Tribune. “I mean, listen, I respect the man because he’s a human being first and foremost, but he’s just being more divisive, which is not surprising. It is what it is. But for him to say that anybody who doesn’t follow his viewpoints or his constituents’ viewpoints should be kicked out of the country, it’s not very empathetic. It’s not very American-like, actually. It’s not very patriotic. It’s not what this country was founded upon. It’s kind of ironic of me that the President of the United States is contradicting what our country is really built on.”
Baldwin has become one of the NFL’s most outspoken players on the league’s national anthem decision. A host of other players have joined him in opposing the new policy.
President Trump supports the policy, of course, but he doesn’t like the addendum that allows players to remain in the locker room during the national anthem this season.
“I don’t think people should be staying in the locker rooms,” the President said on FOX News Channel on Thursday. “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem, or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem.”
The President’s comments have turned the issue into an even bigger controversy as Baldwin and Brandon Marshall’s responses showed Thursday.