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Donald Trump decries the NFL, and America, getting soft

Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In Iowa

OTTUMWA, IA - JANUARY 9: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Bridge View Center on January 9, 2016 in Ottumwa, Iowa. Trump emphasized the importance of voter turnout in beating his nearest rival, Ted Cruz. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

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As Donald Trump watched Saturday night’s Steelers-Bengals game, with hard hits that caused concussions and drew penalty flags, he thought he saw a metaphor for the direction that our country is heading in.

“Football has become soft like our country has become soft,” Trump said at a campaign rally today, to cheers from the audience.

Trump said he’s frustrated to see the way the NFL has changed the rules to take many hits to the head out of the game, at the expense of what Trump views as the old-school style of play that made the game great decades ago.

“Who wants to watch these crummy games?” Trump said, adding that the NFL has outlawed “what used to be considered a great tackle, head-on and violent,” in the days of Dick Butkus, Lawrence Taylor and Ray Nitschke.

Trump said he loves his friend Tom Brady but otherwise isn’t much interested in today’s NFL. At a time when the league is attempting to address concussions in part because of political pressure from elected officials who view the game as too dangerous, the leader in the Republican presidential primary polls believes the game was better before.