Donald Trump, playing to his base in an Alabama speech Friday and in a series of tweets, slammed NFL players who don't stand for the national anthem. The president said the league is losing TV viewers partly because it concentrates too much on preventing injuries, such as penalizing players for making hard tackles.
San Diegans who recall the suicide of Junior Seau, one of the Chargers' best all-time players — and a very hard tackler — may not take kindly to the remarks.
Trump stated that because of the injury prevention, "They're ruining the game," according to the New York Times. The remarks about players refusing to stand for the anthem were aimed at Colin Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49er who protested racism by not standing and has not been signed by any team. Many think the owners have blacklisted him, although other players have participated in the protest, and three-fourths of the players in the league are African-American, according to the Times.
The newspaper said Trump "seemed to disinvite" the NBA champion Golden State Warriors to the White House for the traditional visit. The team's star, Stephen Curry, has been critical of Trump. LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, one of the best players in the game, tweeted, "Going to the White House was a great honor until you showed up!"