Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Cedric L. Richmond said despite Donald Trump’s criticism of black football players kneeling for the National Anthem, the president is “irrelevant” to the NFL.
The Louisiana Democrat was asked by TMZ whether the fact that no NFL players knelt during the National Anthem during the Super Bowl was a win for Trump.
“The players probably just didn’t want to distract from the game and they wanted to focus on winning,” Richmond replied.
Richmond said he did not think the president “wins anything” and contrasted him with players like the Philadelphia Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins, who is “busting [his] butt for civil rights, economic justice, police reform.” After his team beat the New England Patriots on Sunday, Jenkins announced he will not make the traditional champion’s visit to the White House.
Trump has been critical of the NFL throughout the season, saying owners should remove from the field any player who kneels during the anthem to protest racial injustice.
Before Sunday’s game, the White House kept the issue alive, releasing a statement saying, “We proudly stand for the National Anthem.”
But Richmond said the president is “not wanted in the NFL.”
“The truth of the matter is, unfortunately, I’d never thought I’d say this, but the president is absolutely irrelevant, and he’s starting to be irrelevant across the whole world and lower our standards,” Richmond said.
The president is “probably still bitter he couldn’t have a team,” Richmond said.
In 2014, Trump attempted to buy the Buffalo Bills, but failed. Prior to that, he was the owner of the New Jersey Generals, a U.S. Football League team and has at times been blamed for that league going bust.
The kneeling protests began in 2016, when quarterback Colin Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco 49ers, took a knee during the National Anthem to call attention to racial injustice.
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