Donald Trump is "looking forward" to the return of live sports but can't let the National Anthem kneeling protests go, and most of the sports world is fed up. In a tweet that has since been criticized by Miles Sanders, Steve Kerr, and Shannon Sharpe among others, Trump called National Anthem protests "a sign of great disrespect."
On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, "Looking forward to live sports, but any time I witness a player kneeling during the National Anthem, a sign of great disrespect for our Country and our Flag, the game is over for me!"
Conversations regarding National Anthem protests have resurfaced following Black Lives Matter protests across the country in response to police brutality and systemic racism. Some players, including Baker Mayfield, have expressed their intention to join kneeling protests when the NFL season returns.
This isn't the only time Trump has expressed his disdain for kneeling during the anthem in recent months, as he made similiar comments at his Tulsa, Oklahoma rally in June. "I thought we won that battle with the NFL," he said, one week after he revealed he did not plan to watch the league's games if any players plan to take a knee to stand up for racial justice.
In an appearance on CBS This Morning, New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins criticized Trump's comments. "He understands the point [of the protest] at this point but he is choosing to ignore it," Jenkins said, suggesting Trump doesn't know why players are protesting. "I think anybody who’s looking to use sports, especially this year, as an outlet to kind of get away from what’s happening right now in our country is probably gonna be sadly mistaken, especially as we move towards the fall."
Former Broncos and Ravens tight end Shannon Sharpe also criticized Trump for his comments. "Players kneeling has nothing to do with disrespect, but to keep your bp dwn," he wrote. "Don't bother watching sporting events because players will be kneeling in large numbers."
Steve Kerr responded with a GIF of a classic quote from 1971's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, "Stop, don't. Come back."
Miles Sanders, meanwhile, kept his response even simpler: "Think we care😭😂."
Trump's assessment of kneeling in protest came just one day after players from the San Francisco Giants kneeled during the National Anthem at an exhibition game on Monday. At this point Trump won't have many sports left to watch if he's offended by the sight of players standing up for what they believe in.
Check out the tweets from Sharpe, Kerr, and Sanders below: