Donald Trump has not been the most popular name in the news surrounding the NFL since becoming President of the United States. Last season, Trump took aim at players who were kneeling for the National Anthem and turned it into a major political scene. Heading into the 2018 season, the league changed the Anthem policy and have stated that players on the field must stand for the anthem, but players who do not wish to stand may remain in the locker room.
Following tons of backlash surrounding the new rule and players calling Trump out, he seems to have come up with a new plan. It is a plan that could make a lot of sense for all parties involved.
The players who have been kneeling for the Anthem have been protesting injustice within the United States’ system. According to a report from CNN, Trump has now said that he would like to talk with the players who still continue kneeling for the anthem about suggestions for pardons. That could be something that connects the two sides.
“I’m going to ask them to recommend to me people who were unfairly treated. You have a lot of people in the NFL in particular, but in sports leagues, they’re not proud enough to stand for our National Anthem. I don’t like that. What I’m going to do is, I’m going to say to them instead of talk… I am going to ask all of those people to recommend to me — because that’s what they’re protesting — people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system. And I understand that.”
Donald Trump to NFL Players, Tell Me Who I Should Pardon! https://t.co/oyrPtygqA5
— TMZ (@TMZ) June 8, 2018
He also asked athletes who have friends and family that have been treated unfairly to let him know about those situations.
“If the athletes have friends of theirs or people they know about that have been unfairly treated by the system, let me know.”
This is not going to smooth everything over, but it does show that Trump will try to work with the athletes. That alone is something new that hasn’t been seen before now.
Plenty of athletes have called Trump out over the past few weeks for his arguments with championship teams with players that do not want to visit the White House. He uninvited the Philadelphia Eagles and has already stated that he will not invite either the Golden State Warriors or Cleveland Cavaliers. Trump did mention that he will likely invite the Washington Capitals, who just won the Stanley Cup last night.
Expect to hear more about the Anthem protests in the future. Trump seems to be reaching out and trying to extend an arm of friendship to NFL players, but it will be interesting to see how he is received.