Here's how NFL teams have responded to President Donald Trump
On Friday night, President Donald Trump lashed out at NFL players for their protests during the national anthem, becoming profane and saying he would like to see teams punish those who take a knee during the pregame festivity.
NFL players, the NFL Players Association and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell all had strong statements condemning Trump's comments about the league and its players.
Here is how NFL teams responded:
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton:
"I would say, personally, I'm disappointed in the comments that were made. I think we need a little bit more wisdom in that office. That's being a little blunt, but that's how I feel. You know, I want that guy to be one of the smarter guys in the room. And it seems like every time he's opening his mouth, it's something that is dividing our country and not pulling us together. And that has nothing to do with my feelings about the anthem, but just my take (over the last) 24 hours. So, that's how I feel."
Steelers players, with the exception of former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva, stayed off the field during Sunday's rendition of the national anthem in Chicago.
Statement from the Cincinnati Bengals:
"Football and politics don't mix easily. Fans come to NFL games to watch great competition on the playing field and that's where our focus should be."
Statement from New York Jets Chairman & CEO Christopher Johnson:
“It was an honor and a privilege to stand arm-in-arm unified with our players during today’s National Anthem. We are very proud of our players and their strong commitment to work in our community to make a positive, constructive, and unifying impact.”
Minnesota Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf:
"Professional sports offer a platform unlike any other, a platform that can bring people from a variety of backgrounds together to impact positive change in our society. As owners, it is our job to foster an environment that recognizes and appreciates diversity of thought and encourages using this platform in a constructive manner. Rather than make divisive statements, we believe in promoting thoughtful, inspiring conversation that unifies our communities. We are proud of our players, coaches and staff for the important role they play in our community, and we fully support their constitutional right to respectfully and peacefully express their beliefs."
Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer:
“As we have stated previously, the Buccaneers recognize every individual’s constitutional right to freedom of speech, which is crucial to the American way of life that we cherish. We are equally committed to the principles of inclusivity and respect for differing points of view that should be afforded to all Americans.”
Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis to ESPN:
"Over the last year ... the streets have gotten hot and there has been a lot of static in the air and recently, fuel has been added to the fire. I can no longer ask our team to not say something while they are in a Raider uniform. The only thing I can ask them to do is do it with class. Do it with pride.
"Not only do we have to tell people there is something wrong, we have to come up with answers. That’s the challenge in front of us as Americans and human beings."
Statement from Green Bay Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy:
"It's unfortunate that the President decided to use his immense platform to make divisive and offensive statements about our players and the NFL. We strongly believe that players are leaders in our communities and positive influences. They have achieved their positions through tremendous work and dedication and should be celebrated for their success and positive impact. We believe it is important to support any of our players who choose to peacefully express themselves with the hope of change for good. As Americans, we are fortunate to be able to speak openly and freely."
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Statement from Tennessee Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk:
"I am proud to stand with our players and support them in their work on and off the football field. I completely agree with Commissioner Goodell that we are better off as a nation when we are unified and pulling together. I have seen that kind of attitude first-hand in Tennessee and across our country in the many benevolent and public-spirited efforts of our NFL players, often without any public recognition. Our players make public contributions day-in and day-out and when I hear anyone making disparaging remarks about them, I know it has to be the result of not knowing what they bring to our communities or what they have accomplished."
Statement from Los Angeles Chargers owner Dean Spanos:
"I wholeheartedly agree with the commissioner's statement. The NFL and its players, more than anything, have been a force for good. What our country needs right now is a message of unity, civility and mutual respect."
Statement from Lions owner and chairman Martha Firestone Ford
“Our game has long provided a powerful platform for dialogue and positive change in many communities throughout our nation.
“Thanks primarily to our players, the NFL also has been a unifying force in our country and impactful change has and hopefully will continue to be the result of peaceful expression, done so in order to highlight social injustices of all kind.
“Negative and disrespectful comments suggesting otherwise are contrary to the founding principles of our country, and we do not support those comments or opinions.”
PHOTOS: NFL players' national anthem protests