A former Democrat Congresswoman has called for every NFL player to kneel during the national anthem at Sunday’s games, while branding President Donald Trump a ‘white supremacist’.
Donna Edwards, who retired as a US representative for Maryland earlier this year, issued the bold statement on Saturday, responding to Trump’s criticism of NFL players who refuse to stand for the anthem.
‘On Sunday, I hope every @NFL player takes a knee in solidarity w [Colin Kaepernick] against the white supremacist who squats in our White House,’ Edwards said in reference to the former San Francisco quarterback, who is now a free agent.
Donna Edwards, a former US representative for Maryland, issued the bold statement on Saturday, responding to Trump’s criticism of NFL players who refuse to stand for the anthem
Edwards called on every NFL player to kneel during the anthem before Sunday’s games
Edwards continued: ‘For the record, I do stand for the flag. I stand because I respect our Constitution and value the freedom of speech of others not to do so.’
Kneeling during the national anthem began as a form of protest a year ago, when then injury-sidelined Kaepernick began doing it in protest over the treatment of blacks and other people of color.
Trump fanned the flames the controversial form of protest on Friday night with stinging remarks at a rally in 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***h off the field right now, out. He’s fired. He’s fired!”‘ Trump said at the rally.
Edwards was not alone in suggesting those remarks would only incite more player protests during the anthem.
Though the president never mentioned any players by name, he was most likely referring to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (center), who was the first prominent NFL star to draw attention for refusing to stand during the national anthem as an act of protest against police shootings of African-Americans
‘Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners…when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, “Get that son of a b***h off the field right now, out. He’s fired. He’s fired!”‘ Trump (above) said during a political rally in Alabama on Friday
‘When will people learn that fear won’t make someone sit down. It quite possibly will make more stand up for what they believe in,’ remarked Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley.
ESPN SportsCenter host Jemele Hill, who recently courted controversy by also calling Trump a ‘white supremacist’, predicted that the president’s remarks could provoke widespread kneeling protests.
‘Just so we’re clear: the president’s comments will only incite more player protests, not quell them,’ Hill said.
The earliest test of her theory will come Sunday morning, with the Baltimore Ravens playing the Jacksonville Jaguars in London’s Wembley Stadium, set to air at 9.30am Eastern Time.
ESPN SportsCenter host Jemele Hill, who courted controversy by calling Trump a ‘white supremacist’ predicted that the president’s remarks could provoke widespread kneeling
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley predicted the remarks would spread the protest
Thirteen other NFL games are scheduled throughout the day, and both Trump’s supporters and foes will likely be keenly watching whether the protest spreads.
Despite the hail of criticism, Trump doubled down on his remarks on Saturday.
‘If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the national anthem,’ he said on Twitter Saturday afternoon.
He continued: ‘If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do.’
Trump doubled down on his criticism of players who kneel in a pair of Tweets on Saturday