President Trump to boycott NFL and US soccer games if players kneel
Donald Trump says he won't see the NFL or the United States soccer games unless the players stand for the national anthem.
The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) decided this week to lift a policy that requires players to stand while The Star-Spangled Banner is played before the games.
The USSF implemented this policy after Megan Rapinoe knelt in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, who went to his knees in 2016 to protest the brutality of the police and the systematic repression of black and black people in America.
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Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz tweeted on Thursday: "I'd rather not have a soccer team in the US than a soccer team that doesn't stand for the national anthem."
President Trump replied to a tweet with a story about Gaetz's comments: "I won't see much anymore!"
In response to another tweet on the subject, Trump wrote: "And it looks like the NFL is going in that direction too, but I'm not watching!"
Kneeling was a hot topic again after George Floyd's death in police custody in Minneapolis last month.
Several high-profile NFL players, including Patrick Mahomes and Michael Thomas, have created a powerful video asking the league to condemn racism and admit that it was wrong "to silence our players before peaceful protest".
A video by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in response admitted that the NFL was "wrong because it hadn't listened to NFL players earlier," saying it was encouraged to protest peacefully.
Although there was no direct indication of taking one knee for the anthem or refusing to stand, Trump repeated his stance on the subject.
He tweeted: "Could it even be possible from a distance that Roger Goodell, in his rather interesting declaration of peace and reconciliation, indicated that it would now be okay for the players to kneel or not to stand for the national anthem, thereby our country is disregarded & our flag? "
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees apologized after criticizing players kneeling during the anthem and said he realized the form of the protest was "no problem with the American flag".
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