‘GREAT ANGER’: Trump calls on NFL to order players to stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A fed up President Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday to unleash his rage against NFL players who refuse to stand for the national anthem.

In a barrage of tweets, the outspoken president called for NFL owners to mandate that all players stand for the national anthem or risk being fired.

“The booing at the NFL football game last night, when the entire Dallas team dropped to its knees, was loudest I have ever heard. Great anger,” Trump wrote in one tweet.

“The NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations. The only way out for them is to set a rule that you can’t kneel during our National Anthem!” he wrote in another.

The president’s latest round of comments come after his speech in Alabama on Saturday during which he called out Colin Kaepernick, who sparked controversy last year when he refused to stand for the national anthem in “protest” of police brutality.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired,’” Trump said to the cheering Alabama crowd.

The NFL, less than thrilled with Trump’s comments, pushed back, with several teams vowing to kneel during the anthem or stay in the locker room in protest of the president’s comments.

The decision to do so was met with tremendous backlash from the right, particularly from pro-veterans groups who saw the decision to kneel as a show of disrespect for the flag.

“Anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem oughta be out of the country. Period. What got ’em where they’re at? The United States,” Nascar legend and team owner Richard Petty said of the controversy (https://apnews.com/dc7ba43160d049eca3a0460d093ad8e1/The-Latest:-NASCAR-owners-discourage-anthem-protests).

Several of Petty’s fellow team owners echoed his comments, adding that any driver who refuses to stand for the anthem will soon be finding themselves a new job.

“Anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people gave their lives for it. This is America,” said Richard Childress team owner of drivers Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon and Paul Menard and longtime car owner of Dale Earnhardt, who added that kneeling on his team would “get you a ride on a Greyhound bus.”

Responding to critics who called his comments racially motivated, Trump said race played no issue in his demand for respect for the national anthem. His motivation, said the president, was about patriotism.

The president denied those charges on Monday, arguing that his comments were simply about defending the American flag and the country against disrespect.

“The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!” he tweeted.

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STANDING FOR WHAT’S RIGHT: Alejandro Villanueva merch flies off shelves after Steelers player stands alone for national anthem

PITTSBURGH, PA — Patriots across America flocked to sports stores on Monday, clamoring for merchandise bearing the name of Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva.

The rush for fan gear comes one day after the former Army Ranger defied his coach’s order to sit out the national anthem, choosing instead to come out of the locker room and stand in support of the flag and, according to the NFL’s official online merchandise site, Villanueva jerseys are far outselling those of his fellow NFL players (http://www.nflshop.com/Jerseys/pg/1/ps/84/so/top_sellers).

Villanueva’s defiance followed calls by President Trump for NFL players to show support for the flag.

In a barrage of Sunday morning tweets, Trump criticized players who bent a knee in protest instead of standing for the national anthem and called out the NFL for their ever dropping ratings, claiming patriotic Americans were “fed up” with player tactics.

The tweets came just one day after the President told a crowd of supporters at a rally in Alabama that NFL team owners should fire any “son of a bitch” who “disrespects our flag.”

However, despite almost instantaneous social media praise for Villanueva from NFL fans on Sunday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin made it clear he was less than pleased with his player’s decision to ingore a direct order.

“Many of them felt like something needed to be done. I asked those guys to discuss it and whatever they discussed that we have 100 percent participation or we do nothing,” Tomlin said in a post game news conference. “They discussed it for an appropriate length of time and they couldn’t come to an understanding, so they chose to remove themselves from it. They were not going to be disrespectful in the anthem so they chose not to participate, but at the same time many of them were not going to accept the words of the president.”

When asked about Villanueva ignoring the order and coming out for the anthem, Tomlin replied: “Like I said, I was looking for 100 percent participation, we were gonna be respectful of our football team.”

Many of Villanueva’s fellow teammates also took a swipe at his decision to stand for the pledge.

“Some guys wanted to take a knee, guys wanted to stand,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said after the game. “We said whatever we do, we need to make sure we’re unified as one group because that’s what we’re about, and that’s what this should be about is staying together as one unit and one group and one brotherhood, things like that.

“So rather than have some guys kneel and some guys stand, the conclusion was made kind of by everybody that the best thing to do was just to stay in the locker room or in the tunnel, if you will.”

Steelers linebacker James Harrison echoed Roethlisberger’s comments, telling Penn Live (http://www.pennlive.com/steelers/index.ssf/2017/09/steelers_national_anthem_vote.html), “We thought we were all in attention with the same agreement, obviously. But, I guess we weren’t.”

However, not all of Villanueva’s teammates disapproved.

One fellow teammate, Cam Heyward, said he stands by the bronze star veteran’s decision. “We support our guy Al,” Heyward told ESPN (http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/20810701/pittsburgh-steelers-surprised-alejandro-villanueva-move). “He feels he had to do it. This guy served our country, and we thank him for it.”

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ROCK SOUNDS OFF; Senate candidate defends use of Confederate flag in show; blasts those who refuse to stand for national anthem

DETROIT, MI — Rocker and possible Michigan senatorial candidate Kid Rock shot back at critics on Monday who ridiculed him for his use of Confederate flags in his shows and blasted professional athletes who refuse to stand for the national anthem during games.

Responding to a planned protest by the National Action Network’s Detroit chapter of his six upcoming Detroit concerts, Rock, who’s real name is Robert Ritchie, said his critics, who are mainly on the left, are simply “wasting Time.”

“Pay NO attention to the garbage the extreme left is trying to create! (and by the way, f–k the extreme left and the extreme right!),” the singer wrote Monday on his official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/kidrock/posts/10155502465850049). “They are trying to use the old confederate flag BS, etc. to stir the pot, when we all know none of this would be going on if I were not thinking of running for office.”

Rock, 46, who announced last month that he was considering running for Michigan Senate on a Republican ticket, said his detractors were throwing accusations around that he was a racist because they fear his possible run.

“Pretty funny how scared I have them all and their only agenda is to try and label people / me racist who do not agree or cower to them,” he wrote. “My track record in Detroit and Michigan speaks for itself, and I would dare anyone talking trash to put theirs up against mine. I am also a homeowner and taxpayer in the city of Detroit, so suck on that too!”

“I am the bona fide KING OF DETROIT LOVE and it makes me smile down deep that you haters know that! Your jealousy is merely a reflection of disgust for your own failures and lack of positive ideas for our city,” Rock continued.

“I am however very disappointed that none of the people, businesses or charities I have so diligently supported in Detroit have had anything to say about all these unfounded attacks from these handful of jackasses and The Detroit Free Press. So for the unforeseen future I will focus my philanthropy efforts on other organizations besides the ones I have supported in the past,” Rock went on before turning his sights on black rights activist Al Sharpton’s highly publicized issue with back taxes . “I would however employ that NAN go ahead and make up these losses since they claim to be so good for Detroit and do not want me opening the arena and generating tons of jobs and tax dollars for the city and people I LOVE… IDIOTS! ….. (Has Al Sharpton even paid his back taxes yet?)”

Lashing back at the National Action Network’s targeting of his upcoming performances in response to his criticism of former NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the national anthem last year, Rock didn’t mince words.

“To be clear – F–k ANYONE who takes a knee or sits during our national anthem! Pretty sure if Russell Wilson or Tom Brady were doing it they would have no problem finding a job playing for any team they wanted in the NFL! So cut the bulls**t!”

“I know I should probably not even have posted anything about these bottom feeders but I will always stand up for myself, my family, my friends, my fans, my city, my state, my country and the good in human nature,” Rock wrote before ending his online rant, “P.P.P.P.P.S. I LOVE BLACK PEOPLE!!”

The rocker signed his online tirade, “God bless”.

Calls for comment to Al Sharpton’s spokesperson have not yet been returned.

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VIDEO AND FULL TRANSCRIPT: PRESIDENT TRUMP COMMENTS ON CHARLOTTESVILLE; VOWS FEDERAL RESPONSE

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Trump on Monday issued statement from the White House about the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Va. last weekend after white nationalists clashed with counterprotesters, resulting in one death and dozens of injuries.

Following is the complete transcript of his remarks:

PRESIDENT TRUMP:

“Thank you.

I’m in Washington today to meet with my economic team about trade policy and major tax cuts and reform. We are renegotiating trade deals and making them good for the American worker. And it’s about time.

Our economy is now strong. The stock market continues to hit record highs. Unemployment is at a 16-year low and businesses are more optimistic than ever before. Companies are moving back to the United States and bringing many thousands of jobs with them. We have already created over one million jobs since I took office. We will be discussing economic issues in greater detail later this afternoon.

But based on the events that took place over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, I would like to provide the nation with an update on the ongoing federal response to the horrific attack and violence that was witnessed by everyone. I just met with F.B.I. Director Christopher Wray, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the deadly car attack that killed one innocent American and wounded 20 others.

To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered. As I said on Saturday, we condemn, in the strongest possible terms, this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America.

And as I have said many times before, no matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws. We all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God.

We must love each other, show affection for each other and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry and violence. We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty, that bring us together as Americans.

Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.

We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal. We are equal in the eyes of our creator. We are equal under the law. And we are equal under our Constitution.

Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America. Two days ago, a young American woman, Heather Heyer, was tragically killed. Her death fills us with grief and we send her family our thoughts, our prayers and our love.

We also mourn the two Virginia state troopers who died in service to their community, their commonwealth and their country. Troopers Jay Cullen and Berke Bates exemplify the very best of America and our hearts go out to their families, their friends and every member of American law enforcement.

These three fallen Americans embody the goodness and decency of our nation. In times such as these, America has always shown its true character. Responding to hate with love, division with unity and violence with an unwavering resolve for justice.

As a candidate I promised to restore law and order to our country and our federal law enforcement agencies are following through on that pledge. We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear.

We will defend and protect the sacred rights of all Americans, and we will work together so that every citizen in this blessed land is free to follow their dreams, in their hearts, and to express the love and joy in their souls.

Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you very much.”

Click link below for full video of the president’s speech courtesy Associated Press:

https://static01.nyt.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000005363413

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