The NFL has once again responded to President Donald Trump’s recent public criticisms, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.
“Everyone should know, including the president, that this is what real locker room talk is,” NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said of the national anthem protests.
Trump’s crusade against the NFL began on Friday, when he spoke out against players who chose to kneel during the national anthem in protest of racial and social inequality, saying: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now, out — he’s fired!'”
Trump continued his attacks over the weekend, complaining about the NFL’s “total disrespect” and “boring games.” Teams responded with a number of different gestures during the national anthem, from locking arms to staying in the locker room altogether. Now, the NFL has fired back at the commander-in-chief, using his own words from last year’s presidential campaign against him.
Trump came under fire last fall when a recording of him saying he can “grab [women] by the p—-” surfaced just one month before Election Day. The New York native defended the comment as “locker room talk.”
To go along with his criticisms of the national anthem protests, Trump also ripped the NFL’s recent increase in safety measures. The league has been accused of doing too little to combat the long-term health effects of playing football and has implemented a number of rules designed to decrease the number of traumatic injuries. Trump said these increased precautions are “ruining the game.”
Lockhart, a former White House press secretary under Bill Clinton, responded to that remark too.
“The president said something about wanting less emphasis on safety in the game. We fundamentally could not disagree more,” he said. “These comments represent someone who’s out of touch.”
While the conflict between Trump and the NFL has been ongoing since Friday, Lockhart said the league has had no direct contact with the president.
“If the president wants to engage in something that’s productive, he has our number,” Lockhart said.
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