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Trump lashes out at NFL over 'Black Lives Matter'

June 08, 2020 17:05 IST
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Over the weekend, the NFL issued a video of Commissioner Roger Goodell apologizing for failing to listen to black players: "We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter," Goodell said.

Buffalo Bills players kneel during the American National anthem.  When black football players knelt during the national anthem to protest against police brutality in 2016, President Donald Trump denounced them with an expletive and the NFL effectively took his side, telling players to stand or stay off the field for the song.

IMAGE: When black football players knelt during the national anthem to protest against police brutality in 2016, President Donald Trump denounced them with an expletive and the NFL effectively took his side, telling players to stand or stay off the field for the song. Photograph: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Minneapolis city council members pledged to abolish the police force whose officer knelt on the neck of a dying George Floyd, as the biggest civil rights protests in more than 50 years demanded a transformation of US criminal justice.

Demonstrations have swept a country slowly emerging from the coronavirus lockdown in the two weeks since Floyd, an unarmed black man, 46, died after choking out the words "I can't breathe" under the knee of a white police officer.

 

Though there was violence in the early days, the protests have lately been overwhelmingly peaceful. They have deepened a political crisis for President Donald Trump, who repeatedly threatened to order active duty troops onto the streets.

Trump took to Twitter around midnight to lash out at the boss of the National Football League, America's biggest sport, who, in a sign of a cultural shift, swung behind protesting players and adopted their slogan "Black Lives Matter".

Trump has used the Black Lives Matter protest movement as a foil for years to promote himself as a law-and-order candidate.

When black football players knelt during the national anthem to protest against police brutality in 2016, Trump denounced them with an expletive and the NFL effectively took his side, telling players to stand or stay off the field for the song.

Over the weekend, the NFL issued a video of Commissioner Roger Goodell apologizing for failing to listen to black players: "We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter," Goodell said.

Trump fired back overnight: "Could it be even remotely possible that in Roger Goodell’s rather interesting statement of peace and reconciliation, he was intimating that it would now be O.K. for the players to KNEEL, or not to stand, for the National Anthem, thereby disrespecting our Country & our Flag?" he tweeted.

US President Donald Trump

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