NFL players kneel en masse at Wembley in defiance of Donald Trump’s bizarre ‘son of a b****’ rant



NFL players knelt during the US national anthem at Wembley Stadium in defiance of President Donald Trump.

It comes after the US President launched a scathing attack on NFL players who opt to kneel in protest when the Star Spangled Banner is played prior to matches. 

The gesture is to protest against racial discrimination and police brutality against black people.

Players from the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Baltimore Ravens linked arms and fell to their knees for the US national anthem on Sunday before an NFL International Series match.

Jacksonville’ Jaguars Leonard Fournette (centre) and team-mates kneel(PA)

They stood in respect for British anthem God Save the Queen immediately afterwards.

Players from across the league have knelt or raised their fists during The Star-Spangled Banner since the start of last season, including high-profile figures such as Colin Kaepernick, Michael Bennett and Marshawn Lynch.

But the US president has blasted the practise in a bizarre weekend-long rant that began on Friday night with a speech in Alabama, and intensified through Saturday and Sunday morning in a series of tweets.

NFL team the Baltimore Ravens protest during the national anthem at Wembley Stadium(PA)

Mr Trump said at Friday night’s rally in that NFL team owners should “fire” players who make protests during the national anthem.

He said: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b**** off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired’. Wouldn’t you love it?

Donald Trump says NFL players disrespecting the flag should be fired

“Some owner’s going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy who disrespects our flag, he’s fired’. And that owner, they don’t know it – they’re friends of mine, many of them – they’ll be the most popular person for a week in this country.”

The comments were followed up in a series of Saturday tweets – and Mr Trump was still going on Sunday morning, calling on fans to boycott games.

He posted: “If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!”

Mr Trump then added: “NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country. League should back U.S.”
 

The president’s rants provoked backlash not only from players, but also stars beyond the NFL.

Stevie Wonder showed his solidarity with the sports stars, dropping to his knees at the Global Citizens Festival in New York’s Central Park on Saturday night.

Take a knee: Stevie Wonder drops down on stage (REUTERS)

Mr Wonder told the music festival: “Whenever you need to interrupt hate, stand down bigotry, condemn sexism and find love for all of our global brothers and sisters every day.

“Tonight, I’m taking a knee for America. But not just one knee, I’m taking both knees, both knees in prayer for our planet, our future, our leaders of the world and our globe – amen.”

With the help of his son Kwame Morris, the 67-year-old singer-songwriter dropped to one knee, and then the other in front of the cheering crowd.

He then went on to entertain festival-goers with performances of his hits including Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours and Sir Duke – and a cover of John Lennon’s Imagine.



Source : https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/nfl-players-drop-to-their-knees-at-wembley-in-defiance-of-donald-trumps-bizarre-son-of-a-rant-a3642301.html

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