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Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman says President Donald Trump's comments about players who kneel during the national anthem are "divisive" and "unacceptable."
Trump said during a speech Friday night that NFL owners should fire players who kneel during "The Star-Spangled Banner." And he suggested that fans show their disapproval of the demonstrations by walking out of the stadium in protest.
The president's comments prompted reaction by NFL players, and by Saturday morning, many of them, including Sherman, expressed their condemnation on Twitter.
"The behavior of the President is unacceptable and needs to be addressed. If you do not Condemn this divisive Rhetoric you are Condoning it!!" Sherman tweeted.
The behavior of the President is unacceptable and needs to be addressed. If you do not Condemn this divisive Rhetoric you are Condoning it!!— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) September 23, 2017
Many of his Seahawks teammates, including Bobby Wagner and Germain Ifedi, retweeted him. Cliff Avril also responded, adding, "Wow! Is this what we've come to? The "leader" of this country continues to try to divide us and now wants to divide one of the few thing that any and everyone can come together and enjoy no matter ethnic group you are. "
Wow! Is this what we've come to? The "leader" of this country continues to try to divide us and now wants t… https://t.co/A4WtO2vRpK— Cliff Avril (@cliffavril) September 23, 2017
Other NFL players around the league also took to social media to respond:
Ppl said it was disrespectful not going to the White House..I’m sure they are quiet about us being called “sons of bitches” ???????(D-Mac)— Devin&Jason McCourty (@McCourtyTwins) September 23, 2017
Praying for Mr. Trump and all the people of this country. 1 Timothy 2:1-8— Cecil Shorts III (@CecilShortsIII) September 23, 2017
Trump stay in ur place... football have nothing to do wit u smh— Zach Brown (@ZachBrown_55) September 23, 2017
Player- Let's promote equality, help our communities.— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) September 22, 2017
Mad Guy- All talk.
Player- Actually I do/have done X
Mad Guy- U just want attention!
It's a shame and disgrace when you have the President of the US calling citizens of the country sons of a bitches.— Bishop Sankey (@BishopSankey) September 23, 2017
Smh & all because @Kaepernick7 is exercising his right as an American citizen to protest.— Bishop Sankey (@BishopSankey) September 23, 2017
When will people learn that fear won’t make someone sit down. It quite possibly will make more stand up for what they believe in.— Chris Conley (@_flight17_) September 23, 2017
I stand on the side of free, non-hateful speech. EVERY SINGLE TIME!— Sage Rosenfels (@SageRosenfels18) September 23, 2017
You can't lead the world POTUS if you can't unite your own country— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) September 23, 2017
The Seahawks' most visible protestor this season has been Michael Bennett, who has said he'll remain seated for the national anthem all season to protest discrimination and injustice in America and to advocate for the rights of African-Americans, women and other minority groups.
"I think the ultimate goal is to not have people judged on the color of their skin and not have racism, not to have discrimination," Bennett has said.
The head of the players union also weighed in. DeMaurice Smith says demonstrations are "protected speech" and no one should have to "choose a job that forces them to surrender their rights."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also responded to Trump's comments, saying in a statement, “divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all our players.”
In response to President Trump: pic.twitter.com/R5Wuce1XYc— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 23, 2017
Trump is also receiving backlash from the NBA community. Just hours after Trump's inciteful rally in Alabama, he wasted no time in taking to Twitter again, this time "withdrawing" the White House invitation to the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors after star Stephen Curry and other players said they didn't want to attend the traditional reception for champions.
"Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!" Trump tweeted.
This prompted comments from LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul.
"U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!" LeBron James tweeted.
U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 23, 2017
"With everything that's going on in our country, why are YOU focused on who's kneeling and visiting the White House??? #StayInYoLane" tweeted Chris Paul.
With everything that's going on in our country, why are YOU focused on who's kneeling and visiting the White House??? #StayInYoLane— Chris Paul (@CP3) September 23, 2017
"A #POTUS whose name alone creates division and anger. Whose words inspire dissension and hatred can't possibly 'Make America Great Again'" tweeted Kobe Bryant.
A #POTUS whose name alone creates division and anger. Whose words inspire dissension and hatred can't possibly "Make America Great Again"— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) September 23, 2017
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