It’s Trump vs. NFL (and Warriors and LeBron)! Can’t #StickToSports

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (center) listens to U.S. President Donald Trump deliver remarks during an event celebrating the team’s Super Bowl win on the south lawn at the White House in in April. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The intersection of sports and politics has resulted in a collision that once would have been thought unthinkable: U.S. President vs. NFL owners, the most exclusive of professional sports’ “One Percent Club.”

This would be a good time for the #StickToSports crowd to stop reading now.

Deny all you like. But here’s further illustration that sports overlaps with almost every endeavor of life, now more than ever. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell fired back at President Donald Trump Saturday morning for comments Trump made in Alabama Friday about the NFL not being tough enough on players who protest the national anthem.

This Goodell statement arrived in my email box this morning: “The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture.  There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month.  Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.”

So Goodell defended the shield, put the league up on a pedestal and called out Trump for “divisive comments” and an “unfortunate lack of respect.”

Before delving into Trump’s comments in Alabama, a couple of thoughts.

• Goodell hasn’t had the best of relationships with players. He has been inconsistent in areas of discipline and too often is seen as not having his players’ backs, a contrast to the dynamic between NBA players and commissioner Adam Silver. So this was a great way for him to try to score some points, even if it seems orchestrated.

• Goodell works for the NFL owners, who are not exactly a group of leftist liberals. Aren’t Trump and New England owner Robert Kraft best buddies? So the thought of them turning on Trump is amusing, if that’s what actually has happened. Or maybe it’s just for appearances.

Trump also went after Steph Curry and the NBA champion Golden State Warriors this morning. He rescinded his invitation to the White House, but only after Curry said he would vote against the team going to Washington D.C. for the traditional ceremony for sports champions.

And there’s this Tweet this morning from LeBron James:

And more:

Update: Falcons owner Arthur Blank also has weighed in now:

“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.”

As for Trump’s anti-NFL comments, it’ easy to see why Goodell might’ve been irritated. Among them: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired!”

Here’s a transcript:

Colin Kaepernick’s mom weighs in:

So Trump has now at least partially alienated the NFL and NBA. At this pace, major league baseball, the NHL, the MLS and maybe NCAA champions will be on his list before the end of next year.

The south lawn at the White House may suddenly have a few dates open if you’re looking to book an event.

EARLIER: Weekend Predictions: Dogs, Falcons winners, James Franklin a loser

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Reader Comments 0

249 comments
vihowajoro
vihowajoro

just ­As ­d­e­br­A r­es­p­o­n­d­e­d ­i ­A­m t­A­k­e­n ­by sur­pr­is­e t­h­At ­A ­m­ot­h­er ­c­A­n ­e­Ar­n $6092 ­i­n 4 w­e­e­ks ­o­n t­h­e . ­d­i­d y­ou ­l­o­o­k ­At t­h­is w­e­b ­l­i­n­k    ­g­o t­o t­h­is s­it­e ­h­o­m­e t­A­b ­f­or ­m­or­e ­d­et­A­i­l

>>>>>>>.www.2morepath.com

Ric1957
Ric1957

King Trump. That will bring a smile to his face and feed his ego. 

James Brown
James Brown

Anything to get in print, right trump??

Robert1959
Robert1959

Over the past 9 months each of Donald "birther" Trump, 1st white nationalist/alt-right POTUS distractions (Flynn, Manafort, Kushner, Don Jr., Spicer, Scary-Moochie, Bannon, Sessions, Preibus, banning transgender in the military, Muslim travel ban, on the verge of nuclear war with North Korea, etc.) have gotten worst. 
What's next? Trump declaring war on the NFL and the NBA for taking a knee during the national anthem and refusing to visit the White House? - Are the American People next (Blacks/Hispanics/Asians/LGBTQ/Christians/Muslims/Jews etc.) ?  Who and what will be the next "target" by Trump to distract attention away from the only task at hand, the Trump/Russian collusion/obstruction investigation? Donald "birther" Trump, 1st white nationalist/alt-right POTUS is proving everyday that he is a racist "son of a bigot". The NFL and the NBA are Trump's next "dog whistles" to fire up his base of racist and bigots all across the USA (33%). How pathetic and deplorable.....

Frank Edwards Sr.
Frank Edwards Sr.

64 American patriotic people will stick with the president of the United States in who they elected into office. We will not condone the NFL allowing their players to disrespect our men and women of the Armed Forces they once celebrate the players and the game in the flag and the national anthem and now you guys allow your players to disrespect dishonor those that died for the flag in the glory of this country it just won't happen we'll stick with President Trump. I just pray to God that all the fans continue to stop going to the games stop buying all of the hats and t-shirts and anything that has NFL on it and I hope in a year to come the NFL will be a broken organization any of the players will be working for $100,000 a year

Robert1959
Robert1959

@Frank Edwards Sr. Thank you for taking off your old tea party costume (tinfoil hat, sheet and combat boots).  Your new Trump costume (red hat, checkered shirt and penny loafers) make it easy to identify America's homegrown terrorist.  What branch of Trump voters/base (33%) are you affiliated - kkk, neo-Nazi, white nationalist, white supremacist, birther, alt-right etc.?  Welcome to the 21st century and the civilized world. 

Mary Spencer
Mary Spencer

We Have Had More Than Enough of the 3 YEAR Old temper tantrums and disrespectful public displays from overpaid Bratt atheletes!!! IT IS OFFICIAL...I AND MY HOUSEHOLD ARE BOYCOTTING ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING ASSOCIATED WITH THE NFL!

Donald Gravitt
Donald Gravitt

Me Ron has no loyalty to anything.. he’s already proved that. Lebron worry about to play with others and keep teammates

peyaxeb
peyaxeb

my gf's parents just got an almost new red Buick Regal GS only from working off a laptop. 

see more>>>>>>>.www.2morepath.com

Eric Johnson
Eric Johnson

If you are not aware of the reason for the stance, please be fundamentally sound and read why, from the person who started it. Reading is a right you have now because of the struggles of others.

Susan Pate Williams
Susan Pate Williams

Get em Trump!!!!🇺🇸😜🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸

Mark Stearns
Mark Stearns

I tear up when I sing the national anthem when I think what sacrifices those men and women have made for me and my family but apparently the spoiled NFL players do not care I think fans who care should turn there backs to the field in silence after singing until play begins they are spoiled kids

Kendall A. Reaves
Kendall A. Reaves

Still nobody talking about social injustice. INTERESTING!!!!!!!

TideDawg
TideDawg

I like Trump.....he's a Patriot and I think the majority of fans feel the same way. To the creeps that protest the Flag and Anthem.....how many of you are veterans. Most of your team mates honor the Flag and Anthem. You also dishonor them with your protests. It's like doing your dance in the end zone after scoring. You're taking all the credit when your team mates got you there.

Robert1959
Robert1959

@christopherleeraley - It's the American People

(elderly, disabled, young, women, minorities, LGBT, Christians, Muslims & Jews, etc.)  
Against
America's homegrown terrorist groups (kkk, neo-nazi's, militia's, white nationalist, white supremacist, birther's, alt-right and the assortment of racist and bigots all across the USA)








Jim Chapman
Jim Chapman

The 1st amendment does not apply on the field. They are employed by the. NFL.

John Schmidt
John Schmidt

They found Tebow praying offensive, they didn't allow players to wear a decal honoring the slain Dallas officers. They didn't allow players to wear 9/11 cleats in honor of the victims but they allow this. Let that sink in.

Duffy Daugherty
Duffy Daugherty

I didn't get to see the start of the Pat's game but I understand 10-12 players took "the knee". I've said I will not watch any team where that happens, including them. I will hold to my word no matter how big a Patriots fan I've been.....

Amanda Jackson
Amanda Jackson

#sticktosports? Shouldn't it be Trump that sticks to, idk, providing relief to the millions of Americans that have been hurt by the recent natural disasters or maybe stopping a nuclear war with North Korea? Just a thought.

Beverly Wilkerson
Beverly Wilkerson

I'll bet that if Obama was still President, these pampered professional babies would NOT be kneeling! It's about being anti-Trump!

Kevin Flanagan
Kevin Flanagan

trump seeks to create and capitalize on division... amazing that republicans called obama divisive and the elected that chump

Naima Barton
Naima Barton

They'll stick to sports when 45 sticks to hotels and reality TV. Until then... 🤷🏽‍♀️

Mick Cole
Mick Cole

President Trump is just saying what the coaches and owners are afraid to say.President Trump shoulders are big enough to carry the load for America and dont need shoulder pads he s a real man who cares not a divder like our last non american president .

John Smith
John Smith

Its trump vs america! Everyone except the racist, nazis and kkk

Thomas Bound
Thomas Bound

North Korea is threatening a nuclear attack, over 3 million Americans have no electricity, the Senate is considering taking health insurance from tens of millions of Americans, and our president is laser-focused on punishing Americans who exercise their 1st Amendment rights.

Melanie Lynn Brooks
Melanie Lynn Brooks

Thomas Bound Ha ha and President Trump is doing so much for these poor victims. Not sure what you are talking about. He's a multitasker who works nonstop

Melanie Lynn Brooks
Melanie Lynn Brooks

Oh geez that fat head over there has been threatening for years. Where have you been????

Thomas Bound
Thomas Bound

Melanie Lynn Brooks Was he threatening while the other events I mentioned were going on, or is your profession cherry-picking?

Thomas Bound
Thomas Bound

Melanie Lynn Brooks I'm pretty sure no one knows what you are talking about.

Melanie Lynn Brooks
Melanie Lynn Brooks

Thomas Bound Yeah people who have no brain wouldn't \U0001f602\U0001f602

Scott Hornibrook
Scott Hornibrook

Thomas Bound - I know what she is talking about. Wake up.

Thomas Bound
Thomas Bound

Scott Hornibrook Wake up to what? Should kneeling football players rise to the level of presidential priority even when there were not the grave, life and death matters we have now?