Donald Trump is excited about sports returning. However, if he sees players kneeling during the national anthem, he will move on to something else. On Tuesday, Trump took to Twitter to express how he feels about players kneeling this year in honor of the Black Lives Matter movement.
"Looking forward to live sports, but any time I witness a player kneeling during the National Anthem, a sign of great disrespect for our Country and our Flag, the game is over for me!" Trump wrote. This is not a surprising claim by Trump because he has made it clear he wants players standing during the national anthem. It dates back to 2017 when he said he wasn't a fan of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, which began with NFL player Colin Kaepernick in 2016. However, what made Trump express his feelings about the national anthem might have to do what the San Francisco Giants did on Monday. Before their exhibition game against the Oakland A's, several players and Gabe Kapler kneeled during the national anthem.
"I wanted them to know that I wasn’t pleased with the way our country has handled police brutality," Kapler said after the game. Kapler has been outspoken when it comes to issues with race in the country. He became the first MLB manager and first head coach of the four major North American sports leagues to protest in the manner of kneeling. The Giants also released a statement on players and Kapler kneeling.
"We support those who knelt to peacefully protest racial injustice and those who stood to express love of country," said Farhan Zaidi, the Giants' president of baseball operations. "We do not see these as mutually exclusive sentiments and believe the freedom to express both is what our country is about."
Based on Trump's history, he believes players who take a knee during the national anthem are disrespecting the flag and military. When Drew Brees apologized for his anti-kneeling comments, Trump said he had no reason to make an apology. Brees sent a message to Trump, saying: "We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities." Brees also noted the country needs to "shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform."