Restaurant Owner: No Games Until Players 'Show Respect'

Meanwhile, Tom Brady calls Trump's comments 'divisive'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2017 2:29 PM CDT
A Lone Steeler Emerged for Anthem; Jersey Now Top Seller
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle and former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva stands outside the tunnel alone during the national anthem.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Reaction to the national anthem brouhaha between President Trump and the NFL continues to resonate Monday afternoon. Among those generating attention is Tom Brady, who voiced his disagreement with President Trump on the Kirk and Callahan radio show on Boston's WEEI. “Yeah, I certainly disagree with what (Trump) said. I thought it was just divisive," Brady said. "Like I said, I just want to support my teammates. I am never one to say, ‘Oh, that is wrong. That is right.’" Brady didn't kneel during the anthem Sunday, but he did lock arms with teammates. The QB has been on friendly terms with Trump, though he generally keeps his politics to himself. Related:

  • Lone Steeler: Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who served three tours in Afghanistan, was the lone member of his team to emerge from the tunnel Sunday during the national anthem. On Monday, his jersey was the top-selling one of all NFL players, reports ESPN. (Meanwhile, Steelers fans angry at the team boycott were burning their gear, reports CBS Pittsburgh.)

  • Earnardt Jr: NASCAR might be taking a stand against anthem protests, but driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. made clear where his sympathies lie in a tweet quoting John F. Kennedy. "All Americans R granted rights 2 peaceful protests," he wrote. "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable-JFK"
  • No games here: A restaurant owner in Greenville, South Carolina, announced that he'd no longer show NFL games until "all players show respect to our flag and our country," reports Fox Carolina.
  • How this began: In the New York Times, Eric Reid of the San Francisco 49ers writes about joining teammate Colin Kaepernick in the early days of the anthem protests over police brutality. "We chose to kneel because it’s a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy." He adds that he's angry Trump "referred to us with slurs but the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va., as 'very fine people.'"
  • No love lost: The BBC notes that Trump has a long history of bad blood with the NFL, starting with his purchase of a team in the fledgling USFL in 1984. He also tried unsuccessfully to buy the Buffalo Bills in 2014.
  • Political savvy: Rich Lowry makes the case at the National Review that this controversy illustrates why Trump is president. "He takes a commonly held sentiment—most people don’t like the NFL protests—and states it in an inflammatory way guaranteed to get everyone’s attention and generate outrage among his critics," writes Lowry. "When those critics lash back at him, Trump is put in the position of getting attacked for a fairly commonsensical view." And it's not calculated, just Trump operating on instinct.
  • No punishment: The league says it will not penalize any players or teams who refused to take the field for the national anthem on Sunday, reports the Washington Post.
Read a roundup of editorials and opinions here. (More President Trump stories.)

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