49ers' Lynch on Trump: 'We expect better from that office'


49ers' Lynch on Trump: 'We expect better from that office'

When President Donald Trump made his initial comments against NFL players protesting during the national anthem, the 49ers had already played their Week 3 matchup. And so, with the rest of the teams in the league already taken a stance on last Sunday and Monday, the attention has turned to the protest’s source: the San Francisco 49ers.

On Friday, 49ers general manager John Lynch made his first public comments about Trump’s comments in his weekly interview with KNBR.

“I have great respect for that office,” Lynch said of the presidency. ”I think they sacrifice a lot. But I was put off by the comments. I think by the tenor of them. There’s a way to act presidential and I don’t feel like that was. I think we expect better from that office.”

Lynch is referring to Trump’s comments during a speech in Alabama where he used a derogatory term towards players like former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and current safety Eric Reid – adding that he feels NFL owners should fire those players who choose to protest.

The NFL responded with varying degrees of protest – including teams that released statements, interlocked arms, knelt, or did not participate in the pregame ceremony and stayed in the locker room as the anthem played.

Lynch mentioned in the interview, he believes the NFL does unify people.

“This league is …  it’s a great example for the rest of society in terms of accepting others that are different from you for multiple reasons — be it their race, religion, where they are from, the country — and we come together for a common goal. I think if the rest of the country, the rest of the world could do that, we’d be in a better place. NFL players when challenged they bond together, and I think you’ve seen that. Like I said hopefully now we can move that forward and I think everyone wants that.”

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'


Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem


Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”