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Trump Tweet, NFL Response Escalate Drama of Sunday Games



The owners of the Baltimore Ravens, the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and other teams on Sunday joined a chorus of NFL executives criticizing President Donald Trump’s suggestion that they fire players who kneel for the national anthem.

The statements, including those from Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, contrasted a morning tweet from Trump and further escalated the political drama of the league’s game day, which was expected to be one of the most-watched for non-sporting reasons in years.

Bisciotti said he “100 percent” supports his players’ decision to kneel during the national anthem. At least seven of them did, joined by more than a dozen Jacksonville Jaguars, before the teams played at Wembley Stadium in London.

Other players linked arms — and Jaguars owner Shad Khan joined them, standing between tight end Marcedes Lewis and linebacker Telvin Smith. He called it a privilege to do so.

Kraft, who has been a strong backer of the president, expressed “deep disappointment” with Trump and said politicians could learn much from the unifying spirit of a competitive, team-oriented enterprise like football.

“Our players are intelligent, thoughtful, and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful,” Kraft said in a statement.

Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam wrote that they didn’t want to let “misguided, uninformed and divisive comments from the President or anyone else deter us from our efforts to unify,” and Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told CBS his team wouldn’t be on the field when the anthem plays before the Steelers game in Chicago. He doesn’t want his players to be divided between those who kneel and those who stand, he said.

“We’re not going to be divided by anything said by anyone,” Tomlin said. “We’re not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda.”

Haslam’s brother, Bill, is the Republican governor of Tennessee.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the kneeling movement last year when he played for the San Francisco 49ers, refusing to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest the treatment of black people by police. Kaepernick became a free agent and has not been signed by a new team for this season.

Without identifying Kaepernick, Trump aimed a Friday talk at a Huntsville, Alabama, rally at those players who have knelt for the anthem.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,'” he said to loud applause.

Again in a Sunday morning tweet, Trump urged his supporters to take action: “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!”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin followed up Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” defending Trump, saying the NFL has many rules governing what players can and cannot do.

“I think what the president is saying is that the owners should have a rule that players should have to stand in respect for the national anthem,” Mnuchin said. “They can do free speech on their own time.”

Trump’s remarks provoked team owners and the NFL to stridently defend the sport and its players. Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has taken heat for Kaepernick’s struggle to find a team, quickly condemned Trump’s comments.

“The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month,” Goodell said.

“Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.”

At least seven team owners donated $1 million each to Trump’s inaugural committee. But Los Angeles Chargers owner Dean Spanos , Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank , New York Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, Tennessee Titans’ controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk, Detroit Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford and San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York were among the league power brokers who issued condemning statements through their clubs.

“The callous and offensive comments made by the president are contradictory to what this great country stands for,” York said.

“Our players have exercised their rights as United States citizens in order to spark conversation and action to address social injustice. We will continue to support them in their peaceful pursuit of positive change in our country and around the world.”

Added Green Bay Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy: “We believe it is important to support any of our players who choose to peacefully express themselves with the hope of change for good. As Americans, we are fortunate to be able to speak openly and freely.”

This weekend’s games were sure to bring more protests, with Tampa Bay receiver DeSean Jackson promising to make “a statement.”

“I know our players who kneeled for the anthem, and 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, including working with law enforcement to bring people together. We all can benefit from learning, listening and respecting each other.”


© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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Ruddy to NY Times: Trump Not Intentionally Divisive



President Donald Trump doesn’t intend to be divisive when he speaks out on issues such as national anthem protests, but he probably should hold his fire for bigger battles, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy says.

“I don’t think his intention is to be divisive,” Ruddy, who is friends with Trump, told The New York Times in an analysis piece published online Sunday. “He wants to be viewed as strong but also someone who speaks the truth as he sees it and not afraid what the establishment says about it. He enjoys a fight and a challenge, so that may play into some of this.”

The Times’ Peter Baker noted that, “Never in modern times has an occupant of the Oval Office seemed to reject so thoroughly the nostrum that a president’s duty is to bring the country together.” Baker dubbed Trump “America’s apostle of anger, its deacon of divisiveness” for his propensity to hit back, even at the least of slights.

“My own view,” Ruddy told Baker, “is that he should adapt Floyd Mayweather’s boxing style — hold most of his punches for big opportunities, and tire out your opponents for a win in later rounds.”

 


© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.



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NFL QBs Brady, Rodgers Share Photos of 'Unity,' 'Brotherhood'




Sunday, 24 Sep 2017 22:07 PM


Sen. John McCain ridiculed President Donald Trump in a CBS “60 Minutes” interview broadcast on Sunday, saying he was not . . .


Sunday, 24 Sep 2017 19:00 PM


President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace negotiator, Jason Greenblatt, is returning to Israel to “continue the peace t . . .


Sunday, 24 Sep 2017 16:30 PM


Nigel Farage, former United Kingdom Independence Party leader – and ally of President Donald Trump – will campaign for A . . .



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McCain: Trump Changes His Statements Almost Daily



Sen. John McCain ridiculed President Donald Trump in a CBS “60 Minutes” interview broadcast on Sunday, saying he was not going to spend his time trying to analyze what the president’s plan is, because “he changes his statements almost on a daily basis.”

The Arizona Republican made his comments in the context of discussing if he thought Trump was altering his strategy after striking a deal earlier this month with Democrats on short-term debt limit and federal spending.

But when asked if he thought Trump was fit for office, McCain was much more diplomatic, saying that “First of all, I believe in our system. The American people selected Donald Trump to be president of the United States. We have to respect that. Second of all, he has a very strong national security team around him who I know has significant influence over him.”

McCain said that Trump has never apologized to him for saying that he’s not a hero because he was captured in war and that he really does not expect a personal rapprochement with the president because they are such different people.

When asked what he meant by that, McCain said, “He is in the business of making money and he has been successful both in television as well as Miss America and others. I was raised in a military family. I was raised in the concept and belief that duty, honor, country is the lodestar for the behavior that we have to exhibit every single day.”

Despite his battle with cancer, McCain said he is determined to keep working, saying, “I am more energetic and more engaged as a result of this because I know that I’ve got to do everything I can to serve this country while I can.”


© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.



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WH: Tax Plan to Help Business, Middle Class



A proposed tax overhaul set to come out this week from Republicans will offer help for the middle class and businesses, President Donald Trump’s Treasury secretary said.

The developing plan “”creates a middle-income tax cut, it makes businesses competitive and it creates jobs,” Steven Mnuchin said in a television interview Sunday, adding there are changes, too, for the “high end,” including “getting rid of lots of deductions.”

He did not offer specifics.

The White House and tax-writing Republican leaders are expected to begin filling in some of the details on Trump’s bid to simplify the tax system, a legislative priority. Trump plans to promote the overhaul heavily, including during a visit to Indiana on Wednesday.

People familiar with the plan that is being written entirely by Republicans have said the administration is considering lowering the corporate tax rate from its current 35 percent to somewhere in the low 20s. The plan probably would seek tax cuts across the board for individuals and reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three.

Details were not coming from White House legislative director Marc Short when pressed whether the plan would cut the individual rate for the wealthy.

“There are still conversations. The president has to sign off on that, and he’ll make his announcement on Wednesday what the final number is,” Short said.

In the past, Mnuchin has said there would be no “absolute tax cut” for the wealthy.

On Sunday, he said: “It was never a promise. It was never a pledge. What it was and it is still, it was what the president’s objective was.”

He added: “The current plan for many, many people it will not reduce taxes on the high end.”

Lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee planned to meet Sunday and Monday to discuss taxes.

Mnuchin appeared on ABC’s “This Week,” and Short was on “Fox News Sunday.”


© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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Trump Aide Greenblatt Returning to Israel for Peace Talks



President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace negotiator, Jason Greenblatt, is returning to Israel to “continue the peace track” after the president met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last week in New York, a White House official said on Sunday.

“While President Trump had productive meetings with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas at the United Nations, we always said that the UN would not focus on peace conversations and that those conversations would be happening on a separate track,” the official said in a statement.

“(Greenblatt) will have follow-up meetings in advance of a private trip in the region with his family for Sukkot. The meetings are part of the Administration’s quiet, steady discussions towards peace,” he said.

Sukkot is a Jewish holiday.


© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.



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WH's Marc Short: Warriors Were the First to Politicize Visit




Sunday, 24 Sep 2017 16:30 PM


Nigel Farage, former United Kingdom Independence Party leader – and ally of President Donald Trump – will campaign for A . . .


Sunday, 24 Sep 2017 15:08 PM


Acting New York Jets owner Chris Johnson – younger brother of America’s ambassador to the U.K. – called it “an honor and . . .


Sunday, 24 Sep 2017 14:54 PM


With so many denouncing President Donald Trump’s defense of the U.S. flag and National Anthem against NFL protestors, Re . . .



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National Anthem Singer Ends on the Knee




Sunday, 24 Sep 2017 16:30 PM


Nigel Farage, former United Kingdom Independence Party leader – and ally of President Donald Trump – will campaign for A . . .


Sunday, 24 Sep 2017 15:08 PM


Acting New York Jets owner Chris Johnson – younger brother of America’s ambassador to the U.K. – called it “an honor and . . .


Sunday, 24 Sep 2017 14:54 PM


With so many denouncing President Donald Trump’s defense of the U.S. flag and National Anthem against NFL protestors, Re . . .



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UK's Nigel Farage to Campaign for Moore in Alabama Senate Race



Nigel Farage, former United Kingdom Independence Party leader – and ally of President Donald Trump – will campaign for Alabama GOP Senate primary candidate Roy Moore, the Guardian reported Sunday.

Farage will speak at a Fairhope, Ala., rally for the controversial former “Ten Commandments” judge Monday night, when he’ll join former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and Duck Dynasty TV star Phil Robertson, the Guardian reported.

Trump has endorsed incumbent Sen. Luther Strange in Tuesday’s primary runoff for the GOP nod for the Senate seat formerly held by Jeff Sessions.

Moore has been leading Strange in polls.

A Moore win could set the stage for primary fights in 2018 in states including Nevada, Mississippi, Tennessee and Arizona, the Guardian reported.


© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.



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Rep. Pete King Tweets He's 'Proud to Stand With Trump'



With so many denouncing President Donald Trump’s defense of the U.S. flag and National Anthem against NFL protestors, Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y., was a rare, bold politician coming out to support President Trump against anti-American sentiment.

Rep. King’s backing is not surprising considering he has long been a President Trump supporter, but he is one of the few to tweet favorably of the U.S. president amid a weekend of rancor after Trump’s statements made at a Republican rally in Alabama on Friday.

Among NFL protests of President Trump on Sunday:

Most uniquely, the Pittsburgh Steelers stayed in the locker room for a planned “unification meeting” during the National Anthem, but that protest was most notable for the counter-protest of U.S. Army Ranger veteran Alejandro Villanueva. The Steelers offensive tackle, who served in Afghanistan, came out of the locker room tunnel for the National Anthem and stood with his hand on his heart.

Despite the opposition, President Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon his appreciation for some of the support the U.S. flag and National Anthem received, saying “kneeling is not acceptable” and ripping the struggling NFL for its “bad ratings.”


© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.



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