On Friday, President Donald Trump made a controversial and explosive speech about NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the kneeling movement last year to protest the treatment of black people by police, according to the Chicago Tribune. Since then, other players have followed his lead.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you'd say, 'Get that son of a b**** off the field right now. Out! He's fired,'" Trump said on Friday.
Then, in a Sunday morning tweet, Trump wrote, "If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!"
On Sunday, around 200 teammates and staff participated in protesting during the "Star Spangled Banner." Now, even some Trump supporters who work in the football profession are condemning or protesting the president's remarks. Here are five of them.
1. Tom Brady
"Yeah, I certainly disagree with what he [Trump] said. I thought it was just divisive. Like I said, I just want to support my teammates," Brady told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan program. "I am never one to say, ‘Oh, that is wrong. That is right.’ I do believe in what I believe in. I believe in bringing people together and respect and love and trust. Those are the values that my parents instilled in me and that's how I try to live everyday.”
Brady also showed his support for his teammates by linking arms with them during the national anthem during a game on Sunday. The famous quarterback once considered Trump a friend, according to the Guardian. Though he's never revealed whether he voted for Trump or not, he has on many occasions come out in support of his decision to run for president. In a September interview with the Boston Globe, Brady said it "would be great" when asked if he thought Trump would win the election.
2. Robert Kraft
Patriots owner Robert Kraft was once a strong supporter of the President. But now, he is expressing his "deep disappointment" with Trump. According to the Chicago Tribune, Kraft said that politicians could learn a lesson about teamwork from football.
"Our players are intelligent, thoughtful, and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful," Kraft said in a statement.
3. Jed York
San Francisco 49ers owner donated $1 million to Trump's inaugural committee, but he recently spoke out against Trump’s message to the NFL.
"The callous and offensive comments made by the president are contradictory to what this great country stands for," York said. "Our players have exercised their rights as United States citizens in order to spark conversation and action to address social injustice. We will continue to support them in their peaceful pursuit of positive change in our country and around the world."
4. Shahid Khan
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan also donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee. During a game in London on Sunday, Khan locked arms with two players, both of whom are black, during the national anthem in a show of support. Khan has also spoken out against Trump’s travel ban.
5. Stephen Ross
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross supported Trump and is one of the several who donated $1 million to his campaign. Now, he is supporting his players, backing them up with the following statement: "I know our players who kneeled for the anthem, and these are smart, young men of character who want to make our world a better place for everyone. They wanted to start a conversation and are making a difference in our community, including working with law enforcement to bring people together. We all can benefit from learning, listening and respecting each other."
[Photo: Getty Images]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.