Trump tells NFL fans to leave the stadium if players make anthem protest

Donald Trump spoke out on the anthem protest by NFL players last night at a rally for Senator Luther Strange in Alabama.  He told fans that if they're at the game and see the players take a knee, "leave the stadium."

We respect our flag. 
[Cheers and applause] 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? 
[Cheers and applause] 
[Chanting "U.S.A."] 
Pres. Trump: You know, some owners are going to do that. He will say, that guy who disrespect our flag, he is fired . That owner, they don't know what. They are friends of mine, many of them. They will be the most popular person for a week. They will be the most popular person in the country because that is a total disrespect of our heritage. That is a total disrespect of everything we stand for, ok? Everything that we stand for. And I know we have freedoms and we have freedom of choice and many, many different freedoms. But you know what? It is still totally disrespectful. When the NFL ratings are down massively, massively, the NFL ratings are down massively. The number one reason happens to be they like watching what is happening. 

[8:46:54 PM]

They like what's happening. If they hit too hard, 15 yards, throw them out of the game. They have that last week. I watched for a couple of minutes duringtwo guys, beautiful tackle. Boom. 15 yards. Directory gets on television, the wife is to get home around them. They are ruining the game, right? – Right? There are ruining the game. That is what the referees want to do. They want to hit. But you know what is hurting the game more than that? But people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they are laying our great national – when they are playing our great national anthem. 
[Crowd booing] If you see that leave the stadium.

If I paid $75-$100 or more for an NFL ticket, I would think twice about following the president's advice.  Besides, the revenue from ticket sales to games represents only a fraction of the revenue from TV broadcasts.  Far more effective than walking out of the stadium would be an advertiser boycott, which would put pressure on advertisers to get the league to crack down on those who disrespect the flag. 

But the NFL may double down on offending their fans.  Some players are calling for the league to declare an "activist month" to formally recognize the anthem protesters.  If that happens, it surely guarantees a continuation of falling TV numbers.

Have we ever seen a pro sports league self-destruct? Stay tuned.

Donald Trump spoke out on the anthem protest by NFL players last night at a rally for Senator Luther Strange in Alabama.  He told fans that if they're at the game and see the players take a knee, "leave the stadium."

We respect our flag. 
[Cheers and applause] 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? 
[Cheers and applause] 
[Chanting "U.S.A."] 
Pres. Trump: You know, some owners are going to do that. He will say, that guy who disrespect our flag, he is fired . That owner, they don't know what. They are friends of mine, many of them. They will be the most popular person for a week. They will be the most popular person in the country because that is a total disrespect of our heritage. That is a total disrespect of everything we stand for, ok? Everything that we stand for. And I know we have freedoms and we have freedom of choice and many, many different freedoms. But you know what? It is still totally disrespectful. When the NFL ratings are down massively, massively, the NFL ratings are down massively. The number one reason happens to be they like watching what is happening. 

[8:46:54 PM]

They like what's happening. If they hit too hard, 15 yards, throw them out of the game. They have that last week. I watched for a couple of minutes duringtwo guys, beautiful tackle. Boom. 15 yards. Directory gets on television, the wife is to get home around them. They are ruining the game, right? – Right? There are ruining the game. That is what the referees want to do. They want to hit. But you know what is hurting the game more than that? But people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they are laying our great national – when they are playing our great national anthem. 
[Crowd booing] If you see that leave the stadium.

If I paid $75-$100 or more for an NFL ticket, I would think twice about following the president's advice.  Besides, the revenue from ticket sales to games represents only a fraction of the revenue from TV broadcasts.  Far more effective than walking out of the stadium would be an advertiser boycott, which would put pressure on advertisers to get the league to crack down on those who disrespect the flag. 

But the NFL may double down on offending their fans.  Some players are calling for the league to declare an "activist month" to formally recognize the anthem protesters.  If that happens, it surely guarantees a continuation of falling TV numbers.

Have we ever seen a pro sports league self-destruct? Stay tuned.

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