NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently criticized President Donald Trump for saying that he believes people need to boycott the NFL. Following a turbulent Sunday full of games where players — and even whole teams — protested, Donald Trump, Jr. decided to send his own strong message to Goodell.
Trump Jr. took to Twitter Sunday night to express his irritation at Goodell supporting multiple teams’ protests of the national anthem and disrespecting the United States. “If only Roger Goodell cared as much about domestic abuse and traumatic brain injury as he does about disrespecting America. #nfl,” Jr.’s tweet read. This news comes as more players continue to pick up the trend that (now unemployed) Colin Kaepernick started last year.
This retaliation stems from comments made by Goodell on Saturday, which followed President Trump’s speech in Alabama. Trump was in Alabama to support potential Senate candidate Luther Strange.
Once Trump took the stage, the president began to talk about a variety of things, including the current state of the NFL. At one point, he suggested that if any player in the NFL decides to disrespect the United States, or the flag, by kneeling, they should be fired.
The crowd seemed to agree, as they started chanting “USA!” following the president’s proclamation. Goodell did not like the president’s comments, and fired back shortly after, according to The Daily Caller.
“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,” Goodell said.
The fact that Goodell would consider Trump’s comments “divisive” is ironic — the reason Kaepernick kneeled in the first place was (in part) due to Obama stirring up racial tensions during his eight years in office.
The United States is a country where athletes can play sports and entertain people for millions of dollars, and then turn around and disrespect the very nation that gave them the opportunities the rest of Americans only dream about. It suggests an ungratefulness for what they’ve been afforded.
Trump Jr.’s comments are alluding to the fact that people can commit domestic abuse and still be allowed to play football without so much as a second thought. If we are going to call out bad behavior, the NFL’s depth chart seems like a splendid place to start.
The second part of Trump’s tweet is referring to the dangers that NFL players face when they wear helmets and collide impossibly hard at angles that can cause serious brain damage. In fact, many NFL players develop issues long after they retire. Aaron Hernandez is a shining example of the sort of secondary damages big hits on the field can have.
Yet, Goodell doesn’t seem to care about any of that. His only concern is that the teams in the NFL get to protest and disrespect the United States, the flag, and the military — while players are on the clock.
Trump Jr. was trying to prove a point, and one can be hopeful that he did. The more people are aware of this situation and the impact it is having on the country, the better.