President Trump extended a peace offering of sorts to NFL players on Friday, asking them to recommend people who’ve been unfairly treated in the criminal justice system and deserve a pardon, reports CNN. "I'm going to take a look at those applications. And if I find, and my committee finds that they are unfairly treated, then we will pardon them or at least let them out [of prison]," Trump says. He waged war last year with NFL players who kneeled during the National Anthem to protest fatal police shootings of unarmed black men and other social injustices. Longtime civil rights activist Harry Edwards was not impressed with the offer, calling it "nothing less than a cynical, self-serving ploy to create a photo op with NFL players," according to Reuters.
Indeed, on Friday even as the president solicited recommendations for pardons, he railed again at players who weren't "proud enough" to stand for the anthem, and his comments came just a few days after uninviting the Philadelphia Eagles to the White House, citing the national anthem controversy. As NBC notes, pardoning a few people is not the same as criminal justice reform or addressing "systemic and racial oppression, which is another huge part of the players’ protests." One former Giants player already has someone to recommend: Kicker Lawrence Tynes said in a tweet that his brother is serving 27 years for selling pot. The president says his staff is currently examining 3,000 cases of individuals who might deserve clemency. (Read more presidential pardon stories.)