President Trump says he’s spoken to ‘numerous’ NFL team owners about the national anthem, including Dallas Cowboys proprietor Jerry Jones.
‘I really think it’s coming together. I noticed last night, or I was told, I didn’t see it, but I heard everybody stood for the national anthem,’ Trump on Friday said. ‘I’m very happy. I heard that, and they should stand. You have to stand, It’s our national anthem. You have to stand.’
Trump would not tell reporters which other National Football League owners he’s talked to aside from Jones, answering vaguely with, ‘I have many friends.’
He said earlier this week that he’d spoken to a couple others. He did not name names. Trump tweeted about his call with Jones on Wednesday morning, following the Cowboys kneel-then-stand during the anthem approach to their Sunday night game.
Trump capped off a week-long war with the NFL over the national anthem with a tribute to the American flag on Friday morning.
Trump ended a Washington, D.C. speech on taxes Friday with remarks on patriotism that subtly touched on the fight he started last week with the sports empire.
‘We love our American flag,’ Trump declared at the National Association of Manufacturers headquarters.
President Trump capped off a week-long war with the NFL over the national anthem with a tribute to the American flag
Trump had been talking about his desire to revive American manufacturing, raise wages and inspire a renaissance in American spirit.
‘When we purchase products made in America, fashioned by our fellow citizens, we renew the bonds of national loyalty that link us all together as one,’ he said.
‘There is a great patriotism that lives inside the men and women who leave their hearts on the factory floors, who pour their hopes into the works of iron and steel, and who turn dreams into reality with their own two hands.’
Those workers are not just building up business, he said. ‘They are building this nation that we all love so much.’
‘We want every American to know the dignity of work. The pride, the pride, the beautiful pride, getting a paycheck, the satisfaction of being told, that was a job well done,’ Trump asserted. ‘We want every parent, to be able to care for their children and we want every child to know a home filled with love and a community filled with hope.’
Trump said, ‘That is the America we see when we look at our American flag that hangs in all of our factories, sails our oceans and waves over our cities towns and fields. We love our American flag.’
Following loud applause, Trump declared, ‘The soul of a country is found in the people who make it a home. And we owe it to our citizens to provide them with a future of opportunity where they can earn a living with dignity and purpose and pride.
‘We can build this future together as one team and one people and one great American family. This can be remembered as the moment we took control of our destiny and chose a future of American patriotism, prosperity and pride.’
The president said he was committed to bringing back jobs, wealth, and the great American Dream.
‘Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America,’ he said, offering the crowd his standard ending for speeches.
Last Friday Trump launched an assault on the NFL players protesting police brutality and racial injustice during the national anthem. They’ve been taking a knee during the ode to flag, following in the footsteps of former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick. Trump suddenly decided he’d had it.
Trump is seen hug the American flag as he arrives for a campaign rally at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on October 24, 2016 in Tampa, Florida
The president inexplicably brought the controversy up during a rally for Sen. Luther Strange in Huntsville, Alabama.
‘Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b**** off the field right now,’ Trump said.
Trump’s critics accused him of stoking racism. Most of the NFL players taking part in the protests are black. While Trump has insisted his remarks were specifically about patriotism and nothing else, many people did not interpret them that way.
The backlash from the African-American community so was fierce, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement denouncing inflammatory remarks that was clearly directed at Trump.
Hitting back at Goodell on his Twitter account, Trump said the NFL boss should direct the league’s players to stand during the national anthem. Then he suggested his supporters boycott the games until the NFL bends to his will.
‘If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!’ Trump said.
Day after day Trump tweeted about the controversy, upping the ante. Football players and NFL teams chimed in with on and off-the-field responses.
In his last tweet on the topic, on Wednesday, the president said he’d spoken to Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys about the matter.
‘Jerry is a winner who knows how to get things done. Players will stand for Country!’ he said.
Trump told Fox News’ Pete Hegseth later that day that he’d spoken to several NFL owners. They’re in a ‘box’ because they want to do something, but he suspects they’re ‘afraid of they’re players.’
‘The NFL cannot disrespect our country. They cannot disrespect our flag or our national anthem. And they can’t have people sitting down or kneeling down during our national anthem,’ Trump said. ‘And guess what? Most people agree with me.’