Trump revels in drama over spat with NFL

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is indulging in his favorite kind of drama — personal, aggressive, culturally volatile and entirely of his own making.

During a week in which a crucial Senate health care vote, his tax plan, the North Korean nuclear threat and Puerto Rico’s post-hurricane suffering vied for attention, Trump carried his feud with the NFL over players who kneel in protest into the new week with a fresh volley of tweets.

“The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!” he said in one of his Monday tweets.But for some, Trump’s argument with professional athletes had everything to do with race.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., called Trump a “racial arsonist” and said he was using the manufactured controversy to pander to his conservative political base.

“He uses race to advance his own ends,” Jeffries told CNN.



NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart defended players’ rights to peacefully protest what they view as racial inequality and police mistreatment of black males.

“Everyone should know, including the president, this is what real locker room talk is,” Lockhart said in an apparent reference to the “Access Hollywood” tapes in which Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women. Trump had chalked up those comments as “locker room talk.”

Trump has a history of engaging in racially fraught battles, from spending years promoting the false story that Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president, was not born in the United States, to his campaign promise to temporarily ban Muslims from the United States. He drew widespread condemnation last month for saying “both sides” were at fault for violence between white supremacists and their opponents during clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Public opinion is mixed on whether professional athletes should be required to stand for the national anthem as Trump would like, and there is a racial split in how Americans process the issue.

More than half of Americans, or 52 percent, said in a September 2016 Marist Poll that sports leagues should require their players to stand for the national anthem. While a majority of whites, 56 percent, said standing should be required, most Latino adults, 55 percent, and nearly half of African-Americans, 48 percent, said athletes should not be made to stand.
As the criticism rolled in, Trump supporters argued that he was expressing patriotism, not targeting African-Americans.



Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Tags :

Related : Trump revels in drama over spat with NFL