Trump says ‘No thanks’ to NFL players as he tweets picture of Detroit Lions and Houston Texans stars kneeling during national anthem ahead of Thanksgiving game
- Detroit Lions and Houston Texans players kneeled during the anthem yesterday
- Trump tweeted words ‘no thanks’ attached to pictures of two players kneeling
- NFL players began taking the knee in the first week of the 2020 season
- Season followed a summer of protests against police brutality and racism
The President tweeted the words ‘No thanks’ attached to pictures of Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford and his Texans’ counterpart Deshaun Watson kneeling ahead of the game.
The two quarterbacks were also joined by several members of their teams in what they say is an act of protest against police brutality and racism in the US.
President Donald Trump wrote the words ‘No thanks’ attached to two pictures of Detroit Lions and Houston Texans players kneeling ahead of their game in Detroit yesterday
Houston Texans cornerback Keion Crossen, number 35, and strong safety Justin Reid, number 20, kneel during the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions yesterday in Detroit
NFL players first began taking the knee in the first week of the 2020 season, which came straight after a summer of civil unrest and nationwide protests against the killings of several black people while in police custody.
The president has openly criticized players who have taken the knee, accusing them of disrespecting the military.
Several players have responded to the president’s accusations and asserted the gesture is about speaking out against social injustice and has nothing to do with the military.
Broadcasts of NFL games at the start of the season often focused on the protest before kick-off but coverage wained as the season went on.
In September, Lions’ quarterback Stafford told reporters why he had made the decision to kneel during the anthem.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, number nine, kneels during the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Houston Texans yesterday in Detroit
‘Just felt like it was the right thing at the right time,’ he said.
‘Obviously it’s been an amazing offseason just for our team, for a lot of people, something where there’s been great opportunity for growth and learning and understanding, and just felt like it was the right thing for me.’
Before their opening game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Texans made a team statement and stayed behind in the locker room while the national anthem and the song ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ – which is considered the black national anthem – was played.
After the anthem, the Texans’ players took to the field and linked up with the Chiefs players and shared a ‘moment of unity’ in silence.