The start of the 2020 NFL season is just a month away and while many are excited for another season of football, President Donald Trump is making it clear he is prepared to root against the NFL this year.
Following an offseason that saw commissioner Roger Goodell support the Black Lives Matter movement with more players now expected to kneel during the national anthem, President Trump is pushing back against the NFL.
President Donald Trump: “I’d be very happy” if NFL season doesn’t open due to players kneeling
The NFL saw a wave of players come forward this offseason to protest police brutality in the United States and call upon changes to address systemic racism. Just a few years after adopting rules to try and prevent players from kneeling during the national anthem, the league changed course this offseason.
With more players demanding the NFL to take action and be a part of the change, Goodell released a video apologizing for how it handled player protests. Shortly after, the league pledged $250 million to help combat systemic racism in the United States.
The decisions drew immediate backlash from President Trump, who vowed not to watch a game this entire season. With the upcoming season drawing closer, Trump doubled down on his comments during an interview on Tuesday.
Heading into a season where stadium capacity will be greatly reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL will be more dependent on television ratings than ever before. Fortunately, the league is very confident a full season will be played and the hunger for live sports could lead to massive ratings.
In previous years, we’ve seen the NFL cave to Trump’s political power and message. However, that seems to be changing this year. The league is reportedly prepared to stand up to President Trump, standing by players who kneel during the national anthem.
Given the growing number of players who plan to peacefully demonstrate during the anthem this season, the NFL seems to be reading the room. Among those who plan to kneel are Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and Arizona Cardinals star Kyler Murray, along with countless others.