LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart is firing back at President Donald Trump for attacking players who kneel during the national anthem, saying their protests against racial inequality and police brutality are “real locker room talk.”
It was an apparent reference to Trump being caught on tape talking with “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women. Trump later dismissed his remarks made in the 2005 video, which emerged a month before the November election, as “locker room talk.”
Many NFL players on Sunday locked arms with their teammates — some standing, others kneeling — in a show of solidarity, including Chargers defensive ends Chris McCain and Melvin Ingram, who were among several players from both the Chargers and their opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs, to protest during the national anthem before Sunday’s game at StubHub Center in Carson.
McCain continued the conversation Monday on his Twitter page, saying, “Once you know and feel you have no say so, what you expect? Words aren’t enough. [People] don’t notice words. Actions are remembered.”
Trump also took to social media, saying his criticism of football players who kneel during the national anthem “has nothing to do with race.”
The president says on Twitter on Monday that the issue is “about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!”
The president tweeted that many people “booed the players who kneeled yesterday. These are fans who demand respect for our Flag!”
He also pointed to NASCAR supporters, writing, “They won’t put up with disrespecting our Country or our Flag – they said it loud and clear!”
About football 200 players decided to stand, kneel or raise their fists during the national anthem at NFL games on Sunday in response to Trump’s calls for players to be fired.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)