DETROIT (WWJ) – The owner of the Detroit Lions, Martha Ford, speaking out in support of NFL players protesting during the national anthem.
In a statement released Sunday, in rebuttal to President Trump stating that NFL owners should fire players who protest — referring to protesters as, “son of a bitch” — Ford said the organization does not support negative and disrespectful comments.
“Our game has long provided a powerful platform for dialogue and positive change in many communities throughout our nation.
Thanks primarily to our players, the NFL also has been a unifying force in our country and impactful change has and hopefully will continue to be the result of peaceful expression, done so in order to highlight social injustices of all kind.
Negative and disrespectful comments suggesting otherwise are contrary to the founding principles of our country, and we do not support those comments or opinions.”
Robert Kraft, chairman and CEO of the New England Patriots, and known supporter of Trump — came out in support of NFL players in a statement posted just after 8 a.m. Sunday.
On Friday, during a stop in Alabama to support fellow Republican Sen. Luther Strange, Trump said the protests were, “a total disrespect of our heritage. That’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for,” calling for owners to act.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,” Trump said to loud applause.
Trump doubled down on his account of the status of the NFL on Sunday morning:
LeBron James took to Twitter multiple times to voice his protest as Trump increased the volume on social media by dis-inviting Stephen Curry and eventually the entire Golden State Warriors team to the White House.
Trump also predicted that any owner who followed the presidential encouragement would become “the most popular person in this country” — at least for a week.