UPDATE with comments from Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin: Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks took to Twitter in regards to Trump’s comments calling his behavior unacceptable and saying, “If you do not condemn his divisive rhetoric you are condoning it!”
He elaborated on his thoughts in a video posted on the Players’ Tribune channel on YouTube.
Doug Baldwin, Sherman’s teammate, also had some things to say about Trump. In a statement told to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Gee Scott, Baldwin said:
I’m not surprised by Trump’s comments. He has shown, since the beginning, his dehumanized nature. To think he would be anything different is to not know the reality of his presidency. He has surrounded himself with like minded people and has removed anyone who challenges him. He acts like a child craving attention and any attention will do.
Although these recent comments are not the worst things he’s said or done, I do believe that this will be a unifying moment for the sports world. And with as much influence as athletes have on the younger generation, this can be an opportunity for us to change the narrative of society and point to the president as a poor example of what you can become if you remain close minded, ignorant and uneducated.
For all the hate and negativity that has come from Trump’s presidency, I am still hopeful for justice and love to win out. As I continue to my efforts with the youth of our communities and engage with this hatred, I will resist the urge to return hate with hate and instead react in love and compassion for those who simply can not.
I encourage others to do the same.
Douglas Baldwin Jr
Earlier, President Trump said “making millions of dollars” in the NFL or any other league is a privilege: Stand for the National Anthem or be fired.
His Constitutionally-challenged opinion, complete with his reality-show catchphrase, comes as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell lambasted Trump’s comments on the matter “divisive,” and LeBron James tweeted that the president is a “bum.”
“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. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”
Trump, who did indeed own a football team once – the New Jersey Generals, players in the 1980s failed, blink-and-miss-it United States Football League – was perhaps fired up by Fox News’ extensive coverage of the kneeling brouhaha. He hasn’t yet said whether players not making millions should be allowed freedom of expression.