Trump criticizes NFL, networks over anthem again

President Donald Trump (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — President Donald Trump again criticized the NFL and its broadcast partners concerning the national anthem.

In a speech Friday, Trump specifically went after the league, CBS and ESPN. The president told a Republican party dinner crowd: “Can you imagine? They’re not going to broadcast the national (anthem) … CBS and ESPN. How do we like that? Is that good?”

Networks televising NFL games typically have not shown the anthem, except at the Super Bowl and other special events. But once players began demonstrating during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to bring light to social injustice issues, interest in behavior during the anthem took on added interest.

Trump has been a frequent critic of the NFL for not requiring players to stand at attention during the anthem. League owners unilaterally created a policy in May calling for players to do just that or else stay in the locker room during the anthem. The policy is in limbo as the NFL and the players’ union discuss alternatives.

Earlier this week, Trump blasted ESPN during a speech in West Virginia. This time, he focused on that network and CBS, which televised the Lions-Buccaneers game on Friday night.

“What the hell is the NFL doing?” Trump asked. “What are they doing? Do they not have a clue? It’s hurt them badly, too, and it’s continuing. They think they’re doing something smart by not broadcasting the national anthem. So that’s CBS and ESPN folks. Enjoy your television.”

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