When the NFL changed its national anthem policy in May, the owners hoped in part to appease President Donald J. Trump. They failed.
The President has continued to periodically slam the NFL over the anthem issue. During a Thursday rally in Montana, Trump repeatedly called the NFL policy “worse” than the one it replaced.
“Hey, how about the NFL?” he said, via Josh Marshall of TalkingPointsMemo.com. “Look, I don’t want to cause controversy. . . . But how about they pass this stupid thing. You don’t have to do this anymore. If you don’t respect the flag, or if you don’t like the country, or whatever it is. Just go into the locker room. . . . I think in many respects, that’s worse. Isn’t that worse than not standing? I think that’s worse. . . . I actually think in many ways it’s worse.”
The President also had some criticism for the Commissioner.
“I heard this thing, they were so happy, the owners,” Trump said. “This Commissioner, where this guy comes from I have no [idea]. They’re paying him $40 million a year, and their ratings are down 20 percent. But you know why their ratings are down? Yes, the flag. But they’re also down because people find politics — in other words, hitting Trump, incorrectly, but hitting Trump — they find that to be much tougher, meaner, and more interesting than watching a football game. They actually do. And they’re watching the cable networks instead of watching football.”
As previously mentioned, ratings aren’t down “20 percent.” Moreover, Sunday afternoons and evenings aren’t exactly hotbeds for cable news programming. And maybe I’m mistaken, but I thought that the media outlets that were “hitting” the President were failing and struggling and consistently losing viewers.
Regardless, the point continues to be that the President will continue to find ways to harass and to criticize the NFL, no matter what the NFL does. And it will only get worse as the midterm elections get closer.