Veteran sports broadcaster Bob Costas said President Donald Trump’s “insulting remarks” about the NFL and its players had prompted “near universal disgust.”
Speaking Monday on CNN’s “New Day,” Costas pointed out that even known Trump supporters within the NFL — including Robert Kraft, the CEO and Chairman of the New England Patriots — have voiced opposition to Trump’s comments over the weekend blasting NFL players who protested during the national anthem.
“You have not heard a single person within te NFL raise a voice in support of what Trump said,” Costas said, adding that former Buffalo bills coach Rex Ryan said he’s “appalled and now ashamed” for introducing Trump at a rally in Buffalo.
Sports broadcaster Bob Costas on Trump's NFL tweets: “Near universal disgust with the President’s remarks” https://t.co/hplFY3rrzI
— New Day (@NewDay) September 25, 2017
“What’s happened here is that what was already an issue raised primarily by Colin Kaeprnick, has expanded beyond the specific point that Kaepernick was trying to make, which is a very valid point, and now it’s become near universal disgust with the president’s insulting remarks,” Costas continued.
The president’s comments sparked even more protests during the Sunday games, causing several teams to stay in the locker room during the anthem.
Previously, there were only a handful of players who chose to kneel during the anthem, notably Michael Bennett of the Seahawks and Cleveland Browns’ Seth DeValve, who is believed to be the first white player to kneel.
On Sunday, the entire Seattle team stayed in the locker room during the anthem ahead of the team’s defeat to the Tennessee Titans.
“The president has galvanized players of all backgrounds, of all beliefs,” Costas said, pointing out New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees’ statement, which said while he wouldn’t feel comfortable kneeling during the anthem, he would stand while locking arms with his fellow players and that he found the president’s remarks “inappropriate.”
Trump’s criticism of the NFL started at a rally in Alabama over the weekend, where he said players who protested during the anthem should be fired. On Saturday, he tweeted “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL,or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”
You can watch Costas’ full interview above.