President Donald Trump praised NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday morning after ESPN obtained a letter sent to all 30 teams in which Goodell outlines a plan for the league to “move past this controversy” of anthem protests.
“It is about time that Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY,” tweeted Trump.
“The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues,” Goodell wrote to the teams, before announcing the league had developed a plan to end the anthem demonstrations.
“This would include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues, and that will help to promote positive change in our country,” Goodell said of his plan, adding that “everyone should stand for the National Anthem.”
On Tuesday, Trump tweeted that the US should look into ending tax breaks for the NFL. Later that day, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders followed up by saying that the NFL should no longer receive tax breaks for government funding for new stadiums in light of the protests.
Trump has been critical of NFL players who protest during the anthem, suggesting that NFL owners should bench any “son of a b****” who does so. Trump later praised Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for going along with his idea.
Trump also instructed Vice President Mike Pence to leave an Indiana Colts game if any of the players demonstrated during the anthem, which Pence did. Critics categorized Pence’s counter-demonstration as a planned political stunt that likely cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
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