The NFL has been plagued by National Anthem protests since former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during a 2016 preseason game. Kaepernick said he sat during the anthem as a way to protest racial injustice and police brutality.
Since Kaepernick started the movement in August 2016, other NFL players have followed his example. Eric Reid, a 49er from Louisiana, was the first to join Kaepernick in his protest. At the time, when asked why, Reid said he did it to show Kaepernick that he wasn’t alone.
“Things have happened in Louisiana and the injustices that are happening could have happened to one of my family members," Reid told the New York Times. "It touched close to home and I just wanted to show my support to him and let him know that he is not the only person who feels the way that he feels. There are a lot of people out there that feel that way."
The 49ers were soon joined by players from the Seahawks, Broncos, Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Patriots, and more. The protests even spread to soccer and the NBA.
Many people have spoken out against the protests, including team owners, players, and the wives of current players. Now the President of the United States is calling out players who disrespect their flag and their country.
On Saturday, President Trump tweeted, “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country),” declared the president.
He continued, “[He or she] should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU'RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”
Do you agree with President Trump? Should players who refuse to honor their country be fired from their leagues? Let us know in the comments.
In other sports news, President Trump also rescinded an invitation to the White House for one NBA player. Find out why.