President Donald Trump's comments on Friday in Alabama that NFL teamsduring the national anthem left a bad taste in the mouths of many players, and it turns out multiple ownership groups took issue with his speech as well.
"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," Trump said to a cheering crowd in Huntsville. "Out. He's fired. He's fired."
Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch released a statement Saturday:
"Comments like we heard last night from the president are inappropriate, offensive and divisive. We are proud of our players, the vast majority of whom use their NFL platform to make a positive difference in our society."
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross:
"Our country needs unifying leadership right now, not more divisiveness. We need to seek to understand each other and have civil discourse instead of condemnation and sound bites. I know our players who kneeled for the anthem, and these are smart, young men of character who want to make our world a better place for everyone. They wanted to start a conversation and are making a difference in our community, including working with law enforcement to bring people together. We can all benefit from learning, listening and respecting each other. Sports are a common denominator in our world. We all have the responsibility to use this platform to promote understanding, respect and equality."
49ers CEO Jed York:
"The callous and offensive comments made by the President are contradictory to what this great country stands for. Our players have exercised their rights as United States citizens in order to spark conversation and action to address social injustice. We will continue to support them in their peaceful pursuit of positive change in our country and around the world. The San Francisco 49ers will continue to work toward bringing communities, and those who serve them, closer together."
Packers CEO Mark Murphy:
"It's unfortunate that the President decided to use his immense platform to make divisive and offensive statements about our players and the NFL. We strongly believe that players are leaders in our communities and positive influences. They have achieved their positions through tremendous work and dedication and should be celebrated for their success and positive impact. We believe it is important to support any of our players who choose to peacefully express themselves with the hope of change for good. As Americans, we are fortunate to be able to speak openly and freely."
Falcons owner Arthur Blank didn't address the president directly in his statement but did talk about the need to "make a positive impact":
"We are at our very best when we are working together, building unity and including everyone's voice in a constructive dialogue. Creating division or demonizing viewpoints that are different than our own accomplishes nothing positive and undermines our collective ability to achieve the ideals of our democracy. The NFL has historically been a strong catalyst for positive change, and I'm proud of the way our players, coaches and staff use that platform to give back to our community and strive to be good citizens making a positive impact on this and future generations."
Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk also released a statement supporting NFL players:
"I am proud to stand with our players and support them in their work on and off the football field. I completely agree with Commissioner Goodell that we are better off as a nation when we are unified and pulling together. I have seen that kind of attitude first-hand in Tennessee and across our country in the many benevolent and public-spirited efforts of our NFL players, often without any public recognition.
Our players make public contributions day-in and day-out and when I hear anyone making disparaging remarks about them, I know it has to be the result of not knowing what they bring to our communities or what they have accomplished."
The NFL isn't the only sports league that's mired in conflict with the president. After Trump said NBA champion Warriors to visit the White House due to comments by Stephen Curry, the president faced an uproar from current NBA players -- including four-time MVP LeBron James, for his tweet -- and former stars, including Kobe Bryant, for inspiring "dissension and hatred."to the
The Warriors alsoto Trump rescinding their invite:
While we intended to meet as a team at the first opportunity we had this morning to collaboratively discuss a potential visit to the White House, we accept that President Trump has made it clear that we are not invited. We believe there is nothing more American than our citizens having the right to express themselves freely on matters important to them. We're disappointed that we did not have an opportunity during this process to share our views or have open dialogue on issues impacting our communities that we felt would be important to raise.
In lieu of a visit to the White House, we have decided that we'll constructively use our trip to the nation's capital in February to celebrate equality, diversity, and inclusion -- the values that we embrace as an organization.
"I just don't believe in anything that is Trump. So there wouldn't be any reason for me to go at all."
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who rose to prominence outside of the NFL world for kneeling during the national anthem last season, remains without an NFL job.