The NFL is the latest organization to receive some sort of criticism from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
According to ABC News, Trump was at a political rally in Reno, Nevada, when he came out against the NFL, saying that the game is not what it used to be. Trump also compared the direction the NFL has gone to that of how he feels America has become in recent years.
“Football’s become soft. Football has become soft. Football has become soft like our country has become soft.”
This criticism from Donald Trump is somewhat different than the type the NFL has recently received in the national spotlight in regards to how the game is played. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Will Smith-starring drama, Concussion, was released on Christmas Day, which is around the same time that the organization gets set for playoffs and fans try to figure out which teams will most likely be heading to the Super Bowl. Smith’s film focuses on the true story of how Dr. Bennet Omalu found out that NFL players who consistently take hard hits to the head may experience a condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and how the organization has openly refuted his findings on numerous occasions. This condition has been linked to NFL players battling depression, dementia, and other diseases after they retire from the sport.
In recent years, the NFL has changed the rules in regards to tackling, and a lot of major hits will result in a penalty. Donald Trump used the example of Saturday’s playoff game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers, and also noted that a lot of veteran players who watch the NFL today may be disappointed with how the game has turned out.
“The outcome of games have been changed by what used to be phenomenal, phenomenal stuff.”
From Trump’s perspective, it appears that whatever big hit happens in the NFL these days turns into a penalty, unlike how it was back then.
“What used to be considered a great tackle; violent head-on. You used to see these tackles, and it was incredible to watch. Now they tackle — ‘Oh, head-on-head collision, 15 yard [penalty]’ — the whole game is all screwed up. You say, ‘Wow, what a tackle.’ Bing. Flag.”
The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that Donald Trump’s political rally saw an attendance of roughly 2,000 people on a Sunday, which was the same day the Seattle Seahawks faced the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers played the Washington Redskins to determine which teams would advance in the NFC playoffs. Trump was surprised by the amount of people who turned out to hear him speak instead of staying home and watching the games, and he also used that fact to criticize how the NFL has become.
“What the h***, it’s a Sunday? Nobody wants to watch these crummy games. They just want to watch the end.”
Donald Trump also noted how the referees in the NFL like to consistently throw flags during the game. As ESPN reports, the game between the Steelers and Bengals saw numerous penalties, including one against Vontaze Burfict and another against Adam Jones. Both penalties gave the Steelers a much-needed boost, moving them into field goal range and allowing the team to score the game-winning field goal with just seconds left on the clock.
At his rally, Trump noted that the only reason the referees are throwing so many flags is so they’ll get some television time.
“The referees, they want to all throw flags so their wife sees them at home. ‘Oh, there’s my husband. He just gave a 15-yard penalty on one of the most beautiful tackles made this year.’ It’s boring.”
Donald Trump added that he rarely watches NFL games these days, but there is still one player whom he supports dearly. And that is his good friend and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
“I gotta tell you, I do love Tom. He’s a great guy.”
Where do you stand on Donald Trump’s criticism of the NFL?
[Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images]