Stop me if you've heard this one before: President Donald Trump said something controversial.
Trump attacked NFL players who have or will kneel in protest during the national anthem during a speech in Huntsville, Alabama, Friday night (see story). He questioned the NFL and said the owners should release each and every person who takes part in protesting during the anthem.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!' Trump said.
“You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell responded to Trump’s comments in a statement from the league. Many other players across the league made their voices heard on Twitter in response to those comments.
New NFL statement pic.twitter.com/XHPgVvPPfH— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) September 23, 2017
Former New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush:
Definition of a clown! 🤡 pic.twitter.com/tF3r5Z27nq— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) September 23, 2017
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman:
The behavior of the President is unacceptable and needs to be addressed. If you do not Condemn this divisive Rhetoric you are Condoning it!!— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) September 23, 2017
Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron:
Does anyone tell trump to stick to politics, like they tell us to stick to sports? Smh.— Eric Ebron (@Ebron85) September 23, 2017
New Orleans Saints second-year wide receiver Michael Thomas:
Continue to use your voices and your platforms for racial equality and to stop injustices in our communities. This is bigger than us!!! ✊🏿— Michael Thomas (@Michael31Thomas) September 23, 2017
Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith:
Buffalo Bills and former Eagles running back LeSean McCoy:
It's really sad man ... our president is a asshole— Lesean McCoy (@CutonDime25) September 23, 2017
We can’t forget McCoy’s comments about Colin Kaepernick just a month ago when he said, “There’s certain players that could be on the team with big distractions and there’s other players that it’s not good enough or not worth it.”
Lebron James, a four-time NBA MVP, took to Twitter to address Trump withdrawing Steph Curry’s invitation to the White House for winning the 2017 NBA championship after Trump said Curry was “hesitating.”
U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 23, 2017
Sixers forward James Michael McAdoo, who signed a two-way contract with the team in August:
You won't @ him tho 😴😴😴 https://t.co/6qoP5zoe0y— James Michael McAdoo (@jamesmcadoo) September 23, 2017
These players are not just “sticking to sports” and are speaking out in response to a controversial topic that has engulfed professional sports.