Donald Trump Wonders If It’s ‘Remotely Possible’ Goodell Said It Was Okay For Players To Kneel During Anthem

It’s still the early days of June. I sincerely hope that there isn’t going to be a new twist on the national anthem protest story every day. Unfortunately today is not one of those days, this time with the president of the United States once again weighing in, as he has so many times before, minutes prior to midnight.

Last week, a coalition of prominent black players produced a video that softly issued a few ‘demands’ of the National Football League, saying that they want to hear the league acknowledge that black lives matter and to admit that they were wrong for not listening to their players and silencing their peaceful protests.

Later, reports indicate that this project was initiated by a ‘rogue’ NFL employee and worked with the New Orleans Saints’ Michael Thomas to put it together. Likewise, commissioner Roger Goodell’s response video was somewhat ‘rogue’ as well, as he reportedly informed only a few key owners that he would be doing it. the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Art Rooney II is likely among them.

It’s said that the video and its content caught most owners by surprise. In it, he essentially acknowledged all of the players’ requests, including to admitting wrong for not listening to players, and affirming their right to peacefully protest. While he did not specifically say anything about kneeling during the national anthem, many have speculated as to whether or not that was the case. Including Trump, who made the following Tweet:

Could it be even remotely possible that in Roger Goodell’s rather interesting statement of peace and reconciliation, he was intimating that it would now be O.K. for the players to KNEEL, or not to stand, for the National Anthem, thereby disrespecting our Country & our Flag?

He has already earlier made other Tweets in recent days in opposition to kneeling. During the 2017 season, he said that he wanted to see owners fire players who knelt during the national anthem—which prompted players around the league to do so. Nobody was fired.

It’s too early to know how this plays out. I doubt ‘the anthem question’ is going to be immediately addressed. Nobody has explicitly gone so far as to say that the league will be totally on board with players kneeling this year.

It looks as though Trump is trying to gain some clarity on that, to decide how to respond. He has already criticized Saints quarterback Drew Brees for apologizing for his own remarks regarding his position against kneeling during the anthem.

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