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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) and outside linebacker Eli Harold (58) kneel during the playing of the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta on Dec. 18, 2016.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) and outside linebacker Eli Harold (58) kneel during the playing of the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta on Dec. 18, 2016.

Trump Now Goes After Prominent Black Athletes

Donald Trump said in Twitter messages later on Saturday that, if NFL players wanted “the privilege” of high salaries, they “should stand for the national anthem. If not, YOU‘RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”

Trump Now Goes After Prominent Black Athletes

US President Donald Trump is embracing an “us versus them” conflict involving politics, patriotism and popular American pastimes. And there is an unmistakable racial element at play, since he is now targeting prominent black players.
In a flurry of comments historically unsuited to any head of state, yet hardly shocking for the current American president, Trump this weekend targeted the two most popular sports in the country and elicited sharp criticism from some of their most important figures, news outlets reported.
Trump criticized the National Football League broadly and athletes who kneel during the national anthem specifically. Analysts are now predicting further on-the-field protests at games.
Responding to Trump’s attacks on football players who protested during the national anthem, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Saturday Trump’s statements revealed “unfortunate lack of respect” for the NFL and its players, news outlets reported.
Goodell’s statement was released a day after Trump suggested any protesting football player was a “son of a bitch” and should lose his job.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now ... He is fired’,” Trump said on Friday at a rally for Alabama senate republican candidate Luther Strange.
Trump said in Twitter messages later on Saturday that, if NFL players wanted “the privilege” of high salaries, they “should stand for the national anthem. If not, YOU‘RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick stirred a polarizing national debate in 2016 after refusing to stand during pre-game renditions of the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Instead, Kaepernick put one knee to the ground to protest against police violence against African-Americans. Several players have since made similar gestures of protest before games.

 #TakeAKnee
Responding to the Trump, Kaepernick’s mother, Teresa, took aim at Trump’s remarks in a tweet.
“Guess that makes me a proud bitch!” she tweeted, replying to a journalist who shared the story.
Teresa Kaepernick’s tweet has been shared more than 46,000 times.
Famous American sports personalities and social media users also voiced their support for the protesting athletes by using the hashtag #TakeAKnee on Twitter.
Travis Waldron, a sport and politics reporter for the Huffington Post, said that the president has based his support around people who believe that black athletes and black people generally need to “stay in their place and not speak out”.
Speaking to Al Jazeera from Washington, Waldron said: “Trump sees these black athletes as kind of an avatar for this movement for racial justice that has been going on in this country. He fundamentally does not see the racial injustice of this country as a problem of our heritage.”
Trump also claimed the anthem protest was the top reason NFL viewership had waned.
“You know what’s hurting the game? When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they’re playing our great national anthem,” he said.
Trump encouraged his supporters to leave the stadium next time they spot a player failing to stand.
The US president once owned the New Jersey Generals of the US Football League, the franchise that tried to challenge the NFL in the 80s by playing in the spring.
The NFL season each year kicks off around September.
  “Invitation Withdrawn!”
NBA players also struck back against comments by the president on Saturday.
In an early morning Twitter message on Saturday, the president rescinded a White House invitation to basketball star Stephen Curry, who had said he would “vote” against the planned visit by the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
“Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!” Trump tweeted.
Curry told a news conference in Oakland, California: “It’s beneath the leader of a country to go that route.”
“It’s not what leaders do,” he said.
LeBron James came to Curry’s defense, disputing Trump’s assertion that visiting the White House was an honor.
“Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!” James, a prominent supporter of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential elections, said on Twitter.

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