President Donald Trump praised the NFL for cracking down on players who don’t stand during the National Anthem. But the league hasn’t done that.
Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is now ordering that all players stand during the national anthem.
“It is about time that Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY,” he said in an early-morning tweet.
The only problem is, Goodell stopped well short of demanding or ordering players to stand.
“Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem,” said Goodell in letter sent to teams on Tuesday. “We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us.” He said it is important that the league “move past this controversy.”
The letter came the same day that Trump called for the elimination of unspecified tax breaks the league receives because of the National Anthem protests.
But Goodell vowed in the letter to continue an unprecedented dialogue with players. He did not make any threat of disciplinary action against players who take a knee or sit during the playing of the National Anthem. His letter certainly did not vow to cut, ban, bench or “fire” any players who join the protest, as Trump has advocated.
Trump’s call to fire players who protest during the anthem has only prompted an increase in the number of players who now kneel or otherwise protest during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. Several NFL owners have affirmed the right of their players to peacefully protest during the National Anthem.
CNNMoney (New York) First published October 11, 2017: 8:18 AM ET