If President Trump thought he would influence NFL owners, coaches and players with his remarks Friday at an Alabama rally, he was mistaken based on the 36 hours that followed.
"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," Trump said amid applause. "He's fired. He's fired!"
The NFLPA issued a swift rebuke, followed by the league, and throughout the day on Sunday, teams around the league staged protests -- both on the field and in the locker room -- during the national anthem.
"I would say, personally, I'm disappointed in the comments that were made. I think we need a little bit more wisdom in that office," Payton told reporters following the team's win over Carolina, via USAToday.com's Nate Davis.
"That's being a little blunt, but that's how I feel. You know, I want that guy to be one of the smarter guys in the room. And it seems like every time he's opening his mouth, it's something that is dividing our country and not pulling us together. And that has nothing to do with my feelings about the anthem, but just my take [over the last] 24 hours. So that's how I feel."
At least 25 teams have spoken out against the president, with Patriots owner Bob Kraft's criticism being among the most vociferous. Kraft, who considers himself a close friend of Trump, also donated $1 million to Trump's inauguration celebration.
"I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the president on Friday," Kraft said. "I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities. Their efforts, both on and off the field, help bring people together and make our community stronger.
"There is no greater unifier in this country than sports, and unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics. I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal. Our players are intelligent, thoughtful, and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful."
For a recap of everything that has happened in response to Trump's comments, be sure to read this.