Brees apologized multiple times following his initial statement to Yahoo Finance earlier this month, in which he said he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag” while protesting during the national anthem. He even addressed an Instagram post directly to Trump, insisting that the issue had nothing to do with respecting the flag — something he seemed to finally realize after receiving immense backlash from all corners of the sports world, even from his own locker room.
Trump tweeted shortly after his initial apology, saying that he thinks Brees shouldn’t have apologized at all. In a video with his son, Donald Trump Jr., on the Team Trump YouTube page on Thursday night, Trump doubled down.
“I was shocked, because I consider him a great football player, but I consider him a champion and a star and I didn’t understand what was going on, and he took it back and I’ve never seen anything like it and I think he hurt himself very badly,” Trump said.
“I was going to put out that he’ll regret that in the future years because you stand for the flag. You have to stand for the flag and the anthem. Our national anthem, you have to stand. I think the NFL’s gonna have a lot of problems if they don’t.”
Trump, who said he thought Brees’ initial statement to Yahoo Finance was “beautiful,” thinks that Brees “caved under the pressure.”
He also thinks that Brees doesn’t actually believe his apologies.
“A lot of warriors, they cave under PR pressure because his manager said, ‘Oh this isn’t right,’ and his teammates said, ‘This isn’t right,’ and all of a sudden he’s out there disclaiming about the flag and the country,” Trump said. “I don’t believe he believes his second statement. By the way, he may believe it, but what he should be doing is not talking about the second, he should have stuck with his first.”
Trump disappointed with Roger Goodell, NFL
Trump again slammed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell while speaking with his son on Thursday night.
Goodell released a statement earlier this month, admitting that he and the league were wrong for not listening to past protests regarding racial injustice in the United States.
“I like Roger Goodell. I was very shocked that he made that statement,” Trump said on Thursday. “It didn’t even look like there was any pressure on him. He made it out of nowhere in summertime. What’s he doing? Why is he doing that? I was disappointed with Roger Goodell.”
Trump’s comments echoed ones he made on Fox News on Wednesday night, in which he falsely claimed that nobody was asking for Goodell’s statement. A powerful video of several NFL stars was released one day before Goodell’s statement in which they specifically asked for it.
Several players from across the league have already committed to kneeling during the anthem again this season. If that happens, Trump said, the league is going to have a “tremendous problem.”
“I think the NFL is going to have a lot of problems if they don’t [stand for the national anthem],” Trump said. “And I think the same thing with U.S. Soccer, they said they’re not going to have to stand. Well if they don’t stand, nobody’s going to want to watch it. I think the NFL, it’ll be a tremendous problem.”
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