Rove: Trump Will Be 'Loser' in Fight With NFL Players

Steve Mnuchin, Terry Bradshaw, others weigh in
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2017 12:12 PM CDT
Mnuchin: Athletes 'Can Do Free Speech on Their Own Time'
Baltimore Ravens players kneel down during the playing of the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday Sept. 24, 2017.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Figures from the worlds of politics and sports took to the Sunday talk shows to weigh in on President Trump's call for NFL players who protest during the national anthem to be fired.

  • Steve Mnuchin told ABC's This Week that NFL owners should create a rule forcing players to stand for the anthem and that athletes "can do free speech on their own time," Politico reports. The Treasury secretary said the issue isn't race or free speech but "respect for the military and first responders."
  • “I wish that some of these players that get on one knee to protest this country and all the sacrifices that make it great would get on both knees and thank God that they live in the United States of America," Mediaite quotes Mike Huckabee as saying on Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures. The former Arkansas governor said liberals only defend athletes attacking the country, not those praying for it.

  • Karl Rove told Fox News Sunday that Trump should have picked a better battle or at least a better tactic, Mediaite reports. "He could have come away the winner," the former White House adviser said. "Instead, he is walking away from this a loser in the minds of the American people." A better move would have been to be an "aspirational figure" reminding people what's good about the country, Rove said.
  • Rex Ryan, who introduced Trump during a rally last year, said on Sunday NFL Countdown that the president's comments are "appalling." "Lemme tell you: I'm pissed off. I'll be honest with you. Because I supported Donald Trump," CBS Sports quotes the former NFL coach as saying. Ryan said he's proud of the players he's known and they aren't "SOBs."
  • "I'm not sure if our president understands those rights, that every American has the right to speak out and also to protest," Sports Illustrated quotes Terry Bradshaw as saying on Fox NFL Sunday.
(More Donald Trump stories.)

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