President Donald Trump has been one of the loudest voices behind the national anthem debate in the NFL.
Shortly after the NFL and the NFLPA announced on Thursday night that the current anthem policy was suspended while they work together on a solution, Trump weighed in on Twitter once again — this time offering his solution to the issue.
The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2018
“The NFL national anthem debate is alive and well again — can’t believe it!” Trump tweeted Friday afternoon. “Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!”
First of all, nowhere in a players’ contract does it say that they must “stand at attention, hand on heart” for the playing of the national anthem. The NFL announced a new policy earlier this year, saying that players must either stand for the anthem on the sidelines or remain in the locker room if they choose to. That policy was suspended Thursday night. Nowhere does it say that one must stand with their “hand on heart,” as Trump suggests.
Trump’s tweet came just one day after it was reported that the Miami Dolphins would fine or suspend players for up to four games should they violate the NFL’s policy, though the Dolphins’ owner walked back those comments on Friday.
Trump’s punishment for kneeling or protesting, though, is much harsher than any punishment the NFL has laid out. The NFL’s punishment was simply to fine players and/or teams. Suspending a player for a game for kneeling once, and then for an entire season without pay for the second time, as Trump wants, will likely not go over well with anybody — players, coaches, owners or fans.
It’s hard to believe that the NFL or the NFLPA will take Trump’s suggestion seriously into their discussions over the next few weeks while attempting to solve this issue.
Though this likely won’t be the last time Trump weighs in on the issue, either.
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