In case you were living under a rock for the past several days, t Over the weekend, President Donald Trump piped in on the issue of kneeling during the national anthem at sporting events, and the resulting firestorm was entirely predictable. While some presidents have been known to comment on sports from time to time, even those who support Trump should admit his comments were out of line.
One thing I was happy to see though, was the responses of the NFL owners. They stood united in their condemnation of President Trump’s comments, even those who supported him in the past. All were classy, and each expressed in their own way their support for those who are their friends, employees, and fellow American citizens.
The owners who put out statements were from across the political spectrum, including several who supported the President during his campaign. Here are some of the statements.
Statement from Panthers Owner/Founder Jerry Richardson pic.twitter.com/aTDcTkfIRW— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 25, 2017
Statement from Miami Dolphins Owner and Founder of Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) Stephen Ross. pic.twitter.com/6W3mXwJO6M— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) September 23, 2017
Statement from our Owner Shad Khan: pic.twitter.com/bbAJKpqZ3w— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) September 24, 2017
Baltimore Ravens owner Stephen Bisciotti was among those who put out a statement:
Statement from Owner Steve Bisciotti. pic.twitter.com/bdKWJ4UpCy— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 24, 2017
That wasn’t enough for some of those who opposed what the players were doing by kneeling during the national anthem. Many fans took to social media to express how upset they were with the Ravens players and with Bisciotti’s response. Some felt Bisciotti should have shut down those who chose to kneel, echoing the President’s sentiment. But the Ravens owner stood tall in support of his team, his players, and the right and responsibility of athletes to use their platform to attempt to fix the issues at hand and improve our country.
While the issue is dividing fan bases across the country, ironically the tweets from Trump served to unify locker rooms and franchises across the NFL. Bisciotti and other owners likely should have spoken up earlier on the matter, but I'm happy with their response on a difficult and contentious matter.