Trump tweets up sports controversy

By Anna Sackel and Karli Regalbuto

Hamden- President Donald Trump verbally attacked Stephen Curry and the NFL this past weekend. It all started on Saturday with Stephen Curry’s mixed feelings on attending the White House. During a press conference, he said “I don’t wanna go”. He went on to say that it is not just him, the organization is unsure on whether or not they will attend. “We don’t stand for basically what our president, the things that he has said and the things that he hasn’t said, at the right times, that we won’t stand for,” he said. Stephen Curry hopes to ignite change by not attending the White House.

Trump was not pleased with this news. He tweeted about Stephen Curry’s statement.

The Golden State Warriors released a statement regarding the invitation withdrawal from the White House.

President Trump spoke at a press conference in Alabama shortly after the Stephen Curry conference. He criticized past protests in the NFL. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag to say get that son of a b**** off the field right now, he’s fired,” he said. The protests that President Trump is referring to happened in the 2016-2017 season.

The NFL released a statement regarding the President’s comments.

President Trump took to Twitter to further discuss his displeasure with the NFL and Roger Goodell. He even started a trending hashtag, #StandForOurAnthem.

In the aftermath of the debates on twitter, Roger Goodell released a video on his Twitter page. The video played during Sunday’s NFL games.

Many players kneeled, sat, and locked arms during the National Anthem on Sunday’s NFL games. Players and coaches demonstrated in response to the President of the United States criticism.

Owners and players issued statements about their stance on the matter. According to the New York Times, Patriots owner and longtime friend of Trump Robert K. Kraft, put out a statement condemning Trump’s attack on the NFL. He said,

“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. Their efforts, both on and off the field, help bring people together and make our community stronger. There is no greater unifier in this country than sports, and unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics.”

Other sports teams reacted to the President’s statements on Saturday and Sunday. According to the New York Times, the rookie catcher for the Oakland Athletics kneeled at the MLB game, during the National Anthem on Saturday night. This was the first time in MLB history there was a demonstration before a game. Sunday afternoon, members of the WNBA stayed in the locker room while the National Anthem played in solidarity with what other teams displayed this past weekend.

Sunday morning, the Pittsburgh Penguins put out a statement that they would still visit the White House. The team received praise from President Trump for their decision to attend.

Notably, NASCAR has not shown a sign of support for this movement so far. NASCAR participants stood during the National Anthem. NASCAR Hall of Famer, Richard Petty, said that anyone who does not stand up for the National Anthem ought to be “out of the country. Period.”

Many people are continuing to use Twitter to voice their opinions about the sports issues surrounding this past weekend.


Timeline of Events:

  • Saturday Early Evening- Stephen Curry makes statement about not wanting to visit the White House. His reasoning is because he does not agree with what President Trump says.

  • Saturday Early Evening- President Trump tweets uninviting Stephen Curry to the White House.

  • Saturday Evening- The Golden State Warriors issue a statement that acknowledges the President’s Tweet. They recognize they are no longer welcome to visit the White House.

  • Saturday Evening- President Trump spoke in Alabama criticizing the NFL. He calls for the owners to fire anyone who does not stand during the National Anthem.

  • Saturday Evening- The NFL released a statement in response to President Trump. The statement calls for unity within the league.

  • Saturday Evening- President Trump tweets about Roger Goodell. He calls for Goodell to make players stand during the National Anthem.

  • Saturday Evening- Rookie Catcher for the MLB Oakland Athletics kneels during National Anthem. First time in MLB history there is a demonstration.

  • Sunday Morning- Pittsburgh Penguins put out a statement saying they will visit the White House. This goes against what many other teams are demonstrating.

  • Sunday Afternoon- Members of the WNBA stay in the locker room during the National Anthem. Other teams have demonstrated by kneeling, sitting and locking arms.

  • Sunday Afternoon- NASCAR participants stand during National Anthem. Hall of Famer Richard Petty put out a statement saying anyone who doesn’t stand should leave the country.

  • Sunday Afternoon- Goodell releases unity video that played during Sunday Night Football. The commercial depicted camaraderie within the NFL, across all teams.  

  • Sunday Evening- Players and coaches held demonstrations during the National Anthem. Some players kneeled, sat down and locked arms. But it wasn’t just the players involved, coaches joined locking arms, too.

  • Sunday Evening- Owner's issued statements. Most notably, the owner of the Patriots and longtime friend of President Trump, Robert Kraft. He spoke about his disappointed in the comments President Trump has made about the league.

  • Monday Morning- Trump continued to tweet about the NFL not standing for the Anthem.

  • Monday Night- The Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals linked arms to show unity during the Anthem, as well as the Cowboys took a knee as a team before the Anthem began.

Karli Regalbuto