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Trump’s still criticizing NFL owners over players who kneel

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Baltimore Ravens players kneel during Sunday's game at Wembley Stadium in London. (FOX NEWS Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says National Football League team owners are “afraid of their players.” And he’s still calling for action against those who kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.

Trump says he began criticizing the players because he has “so many friends that are owners.” He adds: “I think they are afraid of their players, if you want to know the truth, and I think it’s disgraceful.”

The president spoke in an interview that aired Thursday on “Fox and Friends.” He says “most people agree” with him.

NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart called the president’s statements “inaccurate.”

“I believe there was a statement our owners are afraid of our players and owners requested intervention by political leaders to kick this off,” Lockhart said. “Those statements are not accurate.”

Trump has spent days attacking players who kneel during the anthem. He insists the NFL should require players to stand. Responding to Trump, hundreds more players have been sitting, kneeling, locking arms or remaining in locker rooms.

“The owners are clearly united in a sense that the attacks on the game, on the NFL, on the players were unfair and unfounded, and that there was unity among the group,” Lockhart said, noting that about two-thirds of the 32 team owners were at league headquarters this week for committee meetings.

“I think there was also a sentiment … that the issues are being obscured and distorted by people with political agendas. I think they made it clear they support our players, but also support our country, the national anthem, the flag — all of the things some have suggested we don’t.”

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  • Kevin Rahe

    Sorry Mr. Lockhart, but there are a lot of people – including many who support the players kneeling during the national anthem – who are taking or using the players’ actions as an ATTACK on “our country, the national anthem, [and] the flag.” All you have to do is look at the comments on this news site to see it. The genie has been let out of the bottle. Good luck getting it back in.

  • steve

    Trump’s right. The owners simply don’t have the guts to tell the players that personal demonstrations are fine on their time, but not when they’re on the clock at work. If they can’t do that, they’re gone because what they’re doing right now is at the least harmful to the league, perhaps irreparably so. I know it has in my eyes because I followed the game without fail since the 50s, but not any more.

  • Old Bob

    There is a place to protest. That place is not at an NFL game when the National Anthem is being played. Protesting then shows disrespect for the brave men and women who gave their lives protection out country, it shows disrespect for our Flag. It shows disrespect for every man and woman who ever served to protect the values we hold dear.

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