President Donald Trump talked about NFL athletes who protested during the national anthem, and he got somewhat explicit about it.
Here’s the video of what he said:
“Luther and I, and everyone in this arena tonight are unified by the same great American values. We’re proud of our country,” Trump said.
“We respect our flag!” he exclaimed.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag, to say get that son of a b**ch off the field right now?” he said.
“He’s fired. He’s fired!” he reiterated as the crowd applauded wildly and chanted, “USA!”
“You know,” he added. “Some owner’s gonna do that. He’s gonna say that guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.”
“And that owner, they don’t know it, they don’t know it,” he continued, They’re friends of mine, many of them. They don’t know – hey’ll be the most popular person for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country.”
“Cuz that’s a total disrespect of our heritage, OK,” he concluded. “That’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for, OK? Everything that we stand for.”
Where did he say this?
Trump was speaking at a rally in Huntsville for Luther Strange, his pick for the Alabama special election to fill the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he became the U.S. Attorney General.
What was the reaction?
While Trump’s comments were a hit at his rally and are sure to thrill his base and others who criticize national anthem protesters, those on the other side were angered by his speech.
“Very revealing that the harshest language Trump has ever used as President was reserved for Black men protesting injustice,” said Shaun King, a Black Lives Matter advocate. “Trump was quicker and more vehement in his hatred of Colin Kaepernick’s non-violent protest than he was of Nazis. Take note of that,” tweeted another.
Why is this important?
It’s only important insofar as the media will obsess over his comments in order to try to distract from the agenda the president is trying to press forward. Some of his supporters have questioned whether these outbursts, while great for his base, sometimes detract from his mission.