The NFL Network's NFL GameDay Morning came right out the gate Sunday morning to address Donald Trump's various tweets over the weekend that called for the league to fire players who take a knee during the national anthem.
The show's host, Rich Eisen, ended the panel discussion by speaking directly to Trump, while passionately trying to explain why some players have decided to protest in the way that they have.
"I guess to wrap it up, I just wanna say one thing because I know the President has been known to watch television, to monitor the way things that are going on in the country, statements that he’s said, how it’s playing out in the media. And should that be the case, that he’s chosen this day, where politics and sports are mixed together, chosen this show, we are the first on the air, I just wanted to say this in case the President of the United States is out there. Offensive speech should not be tolerated in this country and offensive behavior that tears down the fabric of this country, like we saw in Charlottesville, should be called out.
What is going on on the field in the National Football League while the national anthem is being played is not that. It’s not that. And what it is are people that are not trying to offend when they are taking a knee or sitting down during the national anthem. What they are, are people offended by their American experience, their American experience that perhaps you, Mr. President, or many of us have not experienced personally. And this is a moment when they are taking a knee and when they are sitting down, they are doing so to spark a conversation, to spark a dialogue, which is the most democratic thing that can be done in this country.
That is why an American flag, literally the size of a football field can be unfurled on a football field during the national anthem, as we saw on Thursday Night Football in Santa Clara. That is why that can be unfurled and many of us can stand, I’m one of those who stand, and some can sit and take a knee. And that is something to which I may not relate, but it is something I can see and try and understand and listen to have the conversation. That is what you said, Kurt [Warner], is liberty and justice for all. That is what the democracy is about, an American experience that is better for all, governing for all. That is what this is about. And today hopefully will turn out to be a day of unity in the National Football League and through the sports world."
You can watch Eisen deliever those words beginning at the 1:40 mark in the video below.
Shorty after Eisen spoke, the NFL Network cut to the Jaguars-Ravens game to show several players protesting the national anthem before their game in London.