Donald Trump said players are "unable to define" why they are protesting and that they get "most of the money," but both of those statements are lies.
Donald Trump told two lies when tweeting about NFL players who protested racial injustice by kneeling or raising a fist during the national anthem during Thursday's slate of preseason games.
Trump claimed that "most of them are unable to define" what it is that they are protesting against, but that is incorrect. Since former quarterback Colin Kaepernick first started the protest in 2016, he made it very clear that he was protesting against racial injustice, systematic inequality, police brutality and general racial oppression in the United States. Since then, the other players who have made some sort of demonstration during the national anthem have echoed that sentiment and repeatedly asked for the issues they are protesting against to be the focal point of the discussion, instead of talking about the way in which they are protesting.
In a second tweet, Trump claimed that "Most of the money goes to the players anyway," but there is no proof that is true. According to a 2016 report from the Associated Press, "NFL players are guaranteed 47 percent of defined revenue."
The NFL players are at it again - taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their “outrage” at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
.....Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
Giants defensive lineman A.J. Francis and former offensive tackle Geoff Schwartz both called out Trump for lying about how much of the NFL's revenue players receive.
Trump's opinions on players protesting racial injustice, police brutality and systematic racial oppression by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem have been a major topic since September 2017.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say: "Get that son of a b---- off the field right now. Out. He's fired. He's fired," Trump said at a rally in Alabama.
After that comment, players and owners across the league took part in demonstrations during the national anthem in response to Trump. Week 3 saw the most players ever kneel during the anthem, and that was combined with a large number of players, owners and coaches that locked arms in unity but remained standing during the song.
When the NFL announced a new policy for how players could conduct themselves during the national anthem in May, Trump initially praised it, but he did criticize the fact that players could remain in the locker room. He later used that policy as part of his reason for un-inviting the Super Bowl champion Eagles to the White House, even though all the players on that team stood for the anthem during the regular season and postseason.