NFL Players Union, Commissioner Push Back Against Trump For Attacking Colin Kaepernick
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell defended his league’s players on Sept. 23 after President Donald Trump told NFL owners to fire players who express their free speech rights — by kneeling during the National Anthem — on Sept. 22 during a rally in Alabama. Trump also called former quarterback Colin Kaepernick a “son of a bitch.”
Goodell didn’t mention Trump by name, but it was clear who he was speaking about, notes Yahoo! Sports:
The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month.
Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.
DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL players union, tweeted a pushback against Trump:
We no longer can afford to stick to sports. Whether or not Roger and the owners will speak for themselves about their views on player rights and their commitment to play safety remains to be seen.
This union, however, will never back down when it comes to protecting the constitutional rights of our players as citizens as well as their safety as men who compete in a game that exposes them to great risks