President Trump’s statement on Thursday that the NFL’s new national anthem policy is worse than the previous policy is a direct contradiction of what Trump himself said when the league announced its new policy.
When the league initially explained the new policy — which allows players to stay in the locker room during the national anthem but requires them to stand if they’re on the field — Trump said he supports it.
“I think that’s good,” Trump said on Fox and Friends on May 24. “I don’t think people should be staying in locker rooms, but still I think it’s good. 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 and the NFL owners did the right thing if that’s what they’ve done.”
But yesterday, Trump blasted the NFL and said they made things worse.
“How about the NFL? Look, I don’t want to cause controversy,” Trump said. “They passed 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. So they say, ‘Go into the locker room.’ So OK, the anthem is getting ready to play, they run into the locker room, then they come back out. You know what? It doesn’t play. I actually think in many ways it’s worse.”
There’s little doubt that Trump will continue to hit the NFL over the national anthem, and that the NFL will continue to look impotent as it tries and fails to find an anthem policy that will please everyone. Although the owners may have thought they were putting the story behind them in May, that is clearly not the case.