President Trump minced no words when it came to how he feels about NFL players who protest the playing of the national anthem. Speaking at a rally in Alabama for Luther Strange, Republican candidate for Senate, Trump called the protesting players “SOB’s” and said he hoped they’d get “fired.”
After speaking about how much the flag means to him, and to Luther Strange, Trump addressed the protesting players:
Trump wishes NFL owners would tell anthem protesters "get that son of a bitch off the field right now" pic.twitter.com/gq4EH3lNoY
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) September 23, 2017
Those comments drew a ton of cheers, and chants of “USA! USA! USA!” from the crowd. However, they sparked a different reaction from NFL players. Here’s a sampling of the player reaction from Twitter:
I can’t take anything our Celebrity in Chief says seriously. He’s a real life clown/troll 🤡
— George Iloka (@George_iloka) September 23, 2017
Responding to a tweet from activist Shaun King, who said the NFL Players Association was readying a response to Trump’s comments. Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah let his feelings be known:
It must embody the sentiment of what's been bottled up for years! https://t.co/0HjExuYgSQ
— Husain Abdullah (@HAbdullah39) September 23, 2017
Others had similar reactions of shock:
Unbelievable what he just said!! https://t.co/K5H58E3h43
— Cecil Shorts III (@CecilShortsIII) September 23, 2017
Some seemed to miss the point entirely:
Trump stay in ur place… football have nothing to do wit u smh
— Zach Brown (@ZachBrown_55) September 23, 2017
Did Zach Brown just tell President Trump to stick to politics? The whole point is, had NFL players stuck to football, Trump’s entire rant never would have happened. One could also argue, credibly, that issues of the anthem and patriotism are directly in the presidential wheelhouse.
Former player Matthew Cherry weighed in, poorly:
They really let Trump do and say whatever TF he wants. Shit is crazy.
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) September 23, 2017
Who are “they?” Former Vikings kicker and noted activist for gay causes Chris Kluwe chimed in as well:
You want to send a message to NFL owners for the next CBA? Stage a sit-in against the president of the US. I guarantee they'll pay attention
— Cassandra (@ChrisWarcraft) September 23, 2017
If there’s one thing Chris Kluwe knows about, its how to get himself fired and never asked back. So if NFL players would like a taste of that, then by all means they should follow his advice.