NFL Players, Celebrities Hammer Donald Trump for Comments on Anthem Protests

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"It's really sad man ... our president is a asshole," said LeSean McCoy of the Buffalo Bills.

NFL players ripped into President Donald Trump over the weekend for comments he made saying that players who sit during the national anthem should be fired. New England Patriots' Tom Brady and Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers also joined the conversation on social media, posting photos in support of the NFL.

The president made the comments Friday night at a rally for Alabama Republican Senate candidate Luther Strange, saying in part, "Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he's fired. He's fired!"

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Saturday morning said in a statement that Trump's remarks showed a lack of respect for the game and players. The players' union also criticized Trump for the remarks.

Brady and Rodgers posted photos on Instagram supporting the "unity of the NFL. Brady Posted a photo with teammate James White with the caption, "Strength. Passion. Love. Brotherhood. Team. Unity. Commitment. Dedication. Determination. Respect. Loyalty. Work. #nflplayer." Rodgers' posted a similar message with a photo of his teammates. Brady later commented with the muscle arm emoji under Rodgers' photo.

Many including Richard Shera players took matters into their own hands, laying into Trump via social media.

"The behavior of the President is unacceptable and needs to be addressed. If you do not Condemn this divisive Rhetoric you are Condoning it!!" said Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks.

"It's really sad man ... our president is a asshole," said LeSean McCoy of the Buffalo Bills.

"Does anyone tell trump to stick to politics, like they tell us to stick to sports? Smh," said Eric Ebron of the Detroit Lions.

Now long after, the hashtag #TakeAKnee was Twitter's top trend.

The story was the top headline for most news outlets today, and after a while, celebrities began to weigh in on the issue.

"He's not declaring war on NFL and NBA. Owners are his donors. He's declaring way against black people with opinions," Ava DuVernay tweeted.

"To #TakeAKnee, it's not to dishonor fallen US vets. What service member gave up life so that cops could kill innocent Americans with impunity?" Jeffrey Wright tweeted.

"We’re not on the plantation anymore Chump. There will be no “buck breaking” out here. Fingers on the hand form a fist. #TakeAKnee ‘til free," tweeted Jesse Williams.

The showdown may lead even more players to protest via gestures on the field, which would put the league and the broadcasters that show games in an awkward position.

Last season, free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first to sit out the national anthem in protest of the treatment of African-Americans in America, especially at the hands of police officers. Since then, numerous other players have protested in similar fashion.

While some were said to be interested, no team picked up Kaepernick's contract this season, which some NFL insiders said may be due to his actions.

Around 11:30 a.m., Trump doubled down on his comments.

"If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU'RE FIRED. Find something else to do!" Trump tweeted.

Green Bay Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy also called Trump out for his statements: "It's unfortunate that the President decided to use his immense platform to make divisive and offensive statements about our players and the NFL. We strongly believe that players are leaders in our communities and positive influences. They have achieved their positions through tremendous work and dedication and should be celebrated for their success and positive impact. We believe it is important to support any of our players who choose to peacefully express themselves with the hope of change for good. As Americans, we are fortunate to be able to speak openly and freely."

See a collection of player and celebrity tweets showing support for the NFL and addressing Trump below.


#unity #brotherhood #family #dedication #love #

A post shared by Aaron Rodgers (@aaronrodgers12) on

Sept. 23, 1:20 p.m. Updated with celebrity reactions.

Sept. 23, 11:30 a.m. Updated with new comments from Trump.