President Donald Trump has stated that he will be adjusting his viewing habits in the coming months. He will not be tuning in for any United States soccer matches or NFL games. The reason is that the players and coaches have pledged to kneel during the national anthem in peaceful protest of systemic racism and police brutality.
Trump made these declarations in response to Rep. Jim Jordan. The Ohio-based politician retweeted a story about U.S. Soccer no longer requiring players to stand during the national anthem. Jordan expressed anger, and Trump responded by saying, "And it looks like the NFL is heading in that direction also, but not with me watching!" Trump also said that he won't be watching soccer much anymore after their decision.
The president previously spoke out after New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees apologized for his comments about the national anthem and players kneeling. The longtime signal-caller said that he had missed the mark when he previously called kneeling disrespectful and said that he would be working to be an ally for his teammates. Trump responded by saying that Brees should have never apologized.
United States congressman Matt Gaetz, who represents Florida, agrees with the president on this subject. He called out the organization and said that the United States should "ditch" its soccer teams if they won't stand. He said that the players should not be able to play for the national team if they won't stand for the flag.
Additionally, Gaetz proclaimed that he would to force U.S. Soccer to reinstate the rule forcing players to kneel or face unspecified "financial repercussions." He introduced a bill on Friday that would force the players to stand. Trump showed his support for this bill on Twitter while making his future viewing habits public.
"I don’t like soccer enough, for the U.S. to even have a soccer team, if that soccer team is going to disrespect our anthem and our flag," Gaetz said in a statement. "It is not like some essential thing that we have to have, if latched to the US Soccer Team is this sense of such extreme wokeness that we cannot be proud of the United States while wearing the uniform of the United States.
"I think this is very distinct from the NFL player kneeling thing," he continued. "As much as I oppose that and don't like it, at least those are private people, working for a private company. ... I certainly think that we have the right to compel that our national team stand for the national anthem."