NFL owners react to Trump’s comments on national anthem protests

The business moguls who control the NFL are siding with their players over President Donald Trump.

The president kicked up a furor on Friday when he lashed out at players who kneel during the national anthem to draw attention to social justice issues.

Trump told a crowd in Alabama that the league’s owners should respond to the players by saying, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired. He’s fired!”

The remarks have spurred backlash from many corners, and they’ve pitted Trump against some of the powerful businessmen who control the league.

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross issued a statement criticizing the president’s words.

“Our country needs unifying leadership right now, not more divisiveness,” he said. “We need to seek to understand each other and have civil discourse instead of condemnation and sound bites.”

Ross, a billionaire New York real estate developer, also defended the Dolphins players who have kneeled during the anthem.

“These are smart young men of character who want to make our world a better place for everyone,” Ross said. “They wanted to start a conversation and are making a difference in our community.”

New York Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch also pushed back against Trump.

“Comments like we heard last night from the president are inappropriate, offensive and divisive,” the statement reads. “We are proud of our players, the vast majority of whom use their NFL platform to make a positive difference in our society.”

By Saturday evening, Falcon’s owner Arthur Blank and 49ers CEO Jed York had weighed in as well.

“We are at our very best when we are working together, building unity and including everyone’s voice in a constructive dialogue,” Blank said. “Creating division or demonizing viewpoints that are different than our own accomplishes nothing positive and undermines our collective ability to achieve the ideals of our democracy.”

York called Trump’s comments “callous and offensive.”

“Our players…

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