Trump puts NFL players on notice: Stand for national anthem

U.S. president has been outspoken against football players kneeling

President Donald Trump is putting pro football players on notice for Week 4 of the NFL season: He won’t stand for it if they kneel in protest during the national anthem.

At Sunday’s first game, in London, New Orleans Saints players, coaches and staff knelt before the start of the anthem but stood in unison once it began. On the Miami Dolphins’ sideline, three players were on one knee during the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Amid a series of tweets Saturday against criticism of the federal response to hurricane damage in Puerto Rico, the president returned to the world of sports and society: “Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!”

Protesting during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” drew national attention last season when Colin Kaepernick, then a quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers, declined to stand as a way to bring attention to police treatment of blacks and to social injustice.

During a speech at a political rally in Alabama on Sept. 22, Trump called for NFL owners to fire players who engaged in such a protest. In the days that followed the president issued a series of tweets reiterating his views and calling for a fan boycott of games.

Criticism from players, owners and fans — and some praise — greeted Trump’s remarks.

The controversy boiled for days and seemed to overshadow other issues facing the Trump presidency, including the failure of Republicans to repeal and replace the nation’s health care law; the Senate primary loss in Alabama of Trump’s favoured candidate; a turbulent hurricane season; and tensions over North Korea’s missiles and nuclear weapons.

“I do really believe his heart’s in the right place,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“I think what matters is that we have to show people that we are an inclusive society, that we want everyone to succeed,” he said.

Ryan also acknowledged that the original point of the player demonstration — racial injustice and police mistreatment of African-Americans — has become obscured by the narrower issue of how to act during the anthem.

“I think we should just have separate and distinct conversations. Because when you merge it into the flag and the anthem, it’s lost,” Ryan said.

Relatively few players had demonstrated before Trump’s remarks. Last Sunday, more than 100 NFL players sat, knelt or raised their fists in defiance during the national anthem.

The Associated Press

Just Posted

Rainstorm drenches Lower Mainland as snow falls on the Sea-to-Sky

Heavy rains, snow expected till Friday morning

DFO confirms that investigation of fish habitat destruction in the Fraser River is underway

Conservation and Protection reps ordered Herrling and Carey Island owners to take corrective action

Hope rescue crew remove man pinned in semi-truck on Highway 3

Tuesday night rescue was swift, with the man removed safely from the truck within an hour and a half

Chilliwack Chiefs get Daniel Chenard back in action

The top goalie in last spring’s RBC Cup missed the first half of the season rehabbing after surgery.

UFV students raise money to keep ‘nicest’ person in Abbotsford

Foreign student struggles to pay for schooling after Trump withdrawal from Iran deal

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

5 to start your day

Torched-SUV victim from Surrey ‘had the purest heart,’ TransLink will bring free WiFi to buses, SkyTrain and Seabus by 2020 and more

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes.

Senate delays start of sittings in new home, delaying start of broadcasts

The Senate and House of Commons are moving into temporary homes for the next decade as a result of long-planned and badly needed renovations to the Centre Block.

UK leader seeks EU lifeline after surviving confidence vote

EU leaders gather for a two-day summit, beginning Thursday, which will center on the Brexit negotiations.

Snowfall warning for Coquihalla, B.C. highways

It’s another wintry day for B.C. highways

Man climbs tree to evade police after Surrey RCMP called to domestic dispute

The man was 60 feet up the tree for hours, according to a Black Press freelancer at the scene

French police try to catch attack suspect dead or alive

Local authorities increase death toll to three, including 13 wounded and five in serious condition

Most Read