Tom Brady joined the sizeable list of NFL players showing defiance to President Donald Trump on Sunday, as his rift with athletes over protesting the national anthem grew wider.
The New York Times reports the New England Patriots star quarterback locked arms with teammates during the playing of the anthem in what was widely seen as a show of solidarity.
Trump’s war or words with NFL players exploded this week when he first chastised players at a rally in Alabama and later over social media.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b***h off the field right now, out, he’s fired,” Trump told the Alabama crowd. “He’s fired. You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”
Though he never mentioned him by name, Trump’s barbs were primarily thought to be aimed at Colin Kaepernick, who first began protesting during the anthem last season while still playing for the San Francisco 49ers.
Out of all the protests that played out in stadiums across the league on Sunday, perhaps the Pittsburgh Steelers were most unified in their game at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears.
Pittsburgh players remained in the locker room for the singing of the anthem, leaving coach
Mike Tomlin and a few of his coaches as the only team representatives on the sidelines.
Team officials later said the “decision was collaborative” and the team “wanted to show unity without being demonstrative.”
According to ESPN, the day of protest around the league kicked off with the first game of the day in London when several players from the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars knelt during the anthem at Wembley Field.
“Personally, I think the comments made about my brothers that decided to protest and kneel is kind of what made us no longer be silent,” Ravens star Terrell Suggs told reporters. “We stand with our brothers. They have the right to protest. We knelt with them today. Non-violent protest is as American as it gets. We knelt with them today and let them know we are a unified front. There is no dividing us. I guess we’re all sons of b****es.”
[Featured Image by Chris Graythen/Getty Images]