Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Recording of NFL owners-players meeting reveals Trump criticism



Recording of NFL owners-players meeting reveals Trump criticism

US President Donald Trump applauds during the State Dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House in Washington, DC, on Tuesday. AFP
US President Donald Trump applauds during the State Dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House in Washington, DC, on Tuesday. AFP

Recording of NFL owners-players meeting reveals Trump criticism

NFL team owners were sharply critical of US President Donald Trump during a private meeting with players at the height of last season’s protest controversy, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

A leaked audio recording of a three-hour meeting between around 30 owners, players and league officials, which took place in New York last October, showed several team bosses voicing displeasure at Trump’s conduct.

Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots who is a long-time Trump friend and donor, accused the US president of “divisive and horrible” conduct.

Trump triggered uproar across the NFL last September when he described players who kneeled during the US national anthem to protest racial injustice as “sons of bitches”.

The protests had been started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 following the deaths of several unarmed black men at the hands of law enforcement.

Following Trump’s criticism, a wave of protests swept the league, with many players kneeling in solidarity with Kaepernick, who has been unable to find a club since being released by the 49ers in early 2017.

During the October meeting, Kraft described the kneeling protests as “the elephant in the room”, the Times reported.

“The problem we have is, we have a president who will use that as fodder to do his mission that I don’t feel is in the best interests of America,” Kraft said. “It’s divisive and it’s horrible.”

‘Public Enemy No1’

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, meanwhile, said Trump’s presidency was “disastrous.”

“We’ve got to be careful not to be baited by Trump or whomever else,” Lurie said. “We have to find a way to not be divided and not get baited.”

The subject of Kaepernick’s career had been raised at the meeting by players who attended, but most owners were non-committal, the Times reported.

Eagles lineman Chris Long told owners that the crisis might have been defused if a team had signed Kaepernick. Most players believed he was being frozen out of the sport, Long said.

“If he was on a roster right now, all this negativeness and divisiveness could be turned into a positive,” Long said.

“We all agree in this room as players that he should be on a roster.”

Meanwhile, Kaepernick’s former teammate Eric Reid, who was the first player to kneel alongside the quarterback, believed the 49ers star had been “hung out to dry”.

“Everyone in here is talking about how much they support us,” Reid told the meeting. “Nobody stepped up and said we support Colin’s right to do this. We all let him become Public Enemy No1 in this country, and he still doesn’t have a job.”
.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • No ‘Crown Prince’ exists to buy France football club: ministry

    The Ministry of the Royal Palace has denied media reports that a Cambodian “Crown Prince” had purchased the AS Saint Etienne football club of France’s top-flight LIGUE 1 at the cost of €100 million ($117 million). In a press statement on September 19, the ministry stressed that Cambodia