Donald Trump: Roger Goodell has lost control of NFL

By The Sports Xchange  |  Nov. 24, 2017 at 5:01 PM
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President Donald Trump criticized the NFL for the third time this week in his latest tweet targeting commissioner Roger Goodell, saying the "players are the boss."

Only one player reportedly knelt during the three national anthems for the Thanksgiving Day games, with New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon continuing his protest of racial inequality and police brutality during the playing of the "The Star-Spangled Banner."

"Can you believe that the disrespect for our Country, our Flag, our Anthem continues without penalty to the players. The Commissioner has lost control of the hemorrhaging league. Players are the boss!" Trump tweeted early Friday morning before announcing he planned to golf with Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson later in the day at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla.

All players on both sides of the field stood during the anthem before Thursday's game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys, but the Dallas Morning News reported that Chargers left tackle Russell Okung and Cowboys defensive end David Irving raised their fists.

Other than Vernon, there were no reports of other player protests during Thursday night's Washington Redskins-Giants game.

Vernon told Newsday last week that his message has nothing to do with the military.

"What it would take for me to stand is if people can understand what the whole message is behind it," Vernon said. "That would actually help a whole lot, but everybody doesn't see things that way and tries to distort what the message was from the beginning, which is basically social injustice on African-Americans and police brutality."

On Wednesday morning, Trump took on Goodell for how the league is handling the protests. The president blasted a plan, as reported by the Washington Post, that would keep NFL teams in the locker room next season during the national anthem.

That criticism followed Monday morning's tweet when Trump called on the NFL to suspend Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch for sitting during the anthem before last Sunday's game in Mexico City but standing for the Mexican national anthem.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement last season to kneel during the national anthem as a protest to denounce police brutality against African-Americans, social injustice and racial inequality.

Kaepernick filed a grievance under the collective bargaining agreement against the NFL last month, accusing all 32 owners of collusion against signing him to an NFL contract. Goodell has stated on multiple occasions this season that Kaepernick is not being blackballed.

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