Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump responded to protests across the National Football League on Sunday over his remarks about players taking a knee during the national anthem, expressing approval for those who locked arms, but not those who knelt.
“Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!” the President tweeted Sunday afternoon.
The President inflamed tensions further Saturday by withdrawing a White House invitation to basketball star Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Curry had remarked at the Warriors’ media day Friday that he doesn’t want to attend the White House ceremony scheduled to commemorate the team’s championship title.
“‘By acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye to,” Curry told reporters. ”It’s not just the act of not going. There are things you have to do on the back end to actually push that message into motion.”
At the first NFL game Sunday, which took place at London’s Wembley Stadium, members of both the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens took a knee while many other players and coaching staff stood and linked arms. Dozens more players on other teams knelt at their games Sunday afternoon.
Notably, almost the entire Pittsburgh Steelers roster stayed in their locker room during the national anthem.
In response to Trump’s remarks in Alabama, Robert Kraft, of close friend of Trump’s and owner of the New England Patriots, issued a statement Sunday morning saying: “I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the President on Friday. I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities.”
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