U.S. President Donald Trump has taken aim at NFL players and the United States national soccer team on Twitter over players’ renewed commitment to taking a knee during the national anthem.
Despite the U.S. having more than two million confirmed cases of the coronavirus, to go with a tragic 115,000 deaths as a result, as well as continued protests in multiple states over police brutality and deaths of African Americans in custody, Trump saw fit to lash out over the anthem on Sunday.
Trump, who was infuriated by the kneeling protest when Colin Kaepernick first made the move in 2016, re-tweeted far-right U.S. Senators Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz, claiming that if the NFL or US soccer players took a knee during the anthem he would switch the channel.
“I won’t be watching much anymore,” Trump said, accompanying a tweet from Gaetz which denounced U.S. Soccer changing its rules to permit players to kneel during the anthem.
Previously, players were required to stand during the anthem.
Gaetz, who derided the seriousness of COVID-19 on the floor of Congress before later being forced into self-isolation after coming into contact with a coronavirus patient at a conservative conference, said he would ‘rather the US not have a soccer team than have a soccer team that won’t stand for the National Anthem.”
“You shouldn’t get to play under our flag as our national team if you won’t stand when it is raised,” he wrote.
And it looks like the NFL is heading in that direction also, but not with me watching! https://t.co/aGfBaK7RNA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2020
I won’t be watching much anymore! https://t.co/s8nCg9EJSW— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2020
AFL great calls out 'disgusting' racist image
While the U.S. President continues to rage against people pushing back against racism, AFL star Eddie Betts shared an image making it clear that Australia still has a long, long way to go.
Players over the weekend joined forces in taking a knee before the start of matches between Richmond and Collingwood, and Hawthorn and Geelong, in a show of solidarity for the fight against racism.
But following a weekend of solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement, Betts took to Instagram to call out a fan who posted a ‘disgusting’ image.
Betts called out the AFL fan that had posted a photo of a chimp, which appeared to be in reference to the small forward.
“If at any time anyone is wondering why we work so hard to bring attention to the importance of stamping out racism, this is it,” Betts wrote on Instagram.
“If ever there was a time where our focus on this needs to continue more than ever, it’s now. We each have a responsibility to ourselves and each other.
“To continue to listen. To learn. To educate.
“To ignore it is to be part of the problem, to call it out is to be part of the solution.”