President Donald Trump said he won't be watching the US national soccer team after the US Soccer Federation voted to repeal a rule requiring players to stand for the national anthem.
The President made the comments on Twitter and retweeted a news story about Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida criticizing the federation's decision. Regarding players protesting during the anthem, Trump also tweeted that "it looks like the NFL is heading in that direction also, but not with me watching!"
And it looks like the NFL is heading in that direction also, but not with me watching! https://t.co/aGfBaK7RNA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2020
Trump has previously criticized NFL players and other professional athletes for kneeling as a peaceful protest during the national anthem. Earlier this month, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he would support NFL players' rights to protest during the national anthem - reversing four years of opposition from the league to a protest started in 2016 by Colin Kaepernick.
On Saturday, Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield wrote in an Instagram post that he would "absolutely" be kneeling during the anthem this year. A number of other players, including Washington's Adrian Peterson, have said they would kneel.
Trump has also sparred with US Soccer's Megan Rapinoe on Twitter in the past. In 2019, the President tweeted in response to comments from Rapinoe - who took a knee during the anthem in support of Kaepernick and the causes he was drawing attention to - that she wouldn't visit the White House if the US Women's National Team won the World Cup. Trump tweeted that Rapinoe should "win first before she talks."
The team won the World Cup, and Rapinoe added the Golden Boot to her trophy collection as well.
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