Donald Trump strikes again.
Donald Trump has picked fights with many organizations and individuals in his short reign as the President of the United States, but none has arguably been more distastefully bizarre as the one he decided to start with NFL owners and the league at large.
Pres. Trump discusses kneeling during national anthem at football game: "That's a total disrespect of our heritage" https://t.co/PYcZWSvN5I— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 23, 2017
It began this weekend, when Trump sounded off on the "disrespect" he was seeing from many players and staff members in the NFL who were choosing to take a knee during the playing of the National Anthem. He said he would "love" to see an NFL owner get any "son of a bitch" who kneels in protest off of the field, bringing out his famous "fired" catchphrase to a smattering of applause. It didn't take long before the backlash started, with notable sports celebrities including LeBron James, Charles Barkley and Tom Brady voicing their vehement disagreement with the President's statement.
Now, TMZ is reporting that Trump may have flipped off Patriots' owner Robert Kraft during a quick interview spot on live television. Speaking MSNBC, the Donald was asked what he made of Kraft's press release in response to his initial comments. The President solemnly said that those words and that stance in general were "disrespectful" to the country, before making a show of wiping his brow with his middle finger. Trump has never been much for subtlety, but this make take the cake in terms of overt public gestures. Like, damn.
President Trump: Kneeling during national anthem is “very disrespectful to our flag and to our country” https://t.co/1JP68WuPUM— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 24, 2017
Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday (which was a small percentage of total). These are fans who demand respect for our Flag!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017
The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017
Kraft's statement, which you can check out below, had no shortage of criticism for the President, a man he supported throughout the election process last year. He wasn't shy about voicing his deep disappointment for Trump's comments and said that he's "proud to be associated" with players who consistently make positive and lasting contributions to their communities. After Ray Lewis flip-flopped on his kneeling opinion, Kraft has now felt the wrath of the Donald for choosing to stand on the other side of the fence.