Friday night in Alabama, President Donald Trump referenced NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest by kneeling during the “Star Spangled Banner.” Trump said he wished team owners would fire players who protested in this manner and to “get that son of a bitch off the field.”
Athletes from a variety of sports released powerful statements in support of their colleagues. LeBron James was the most vocal releasing a video about Trump disinviting Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors to the White House, ESPN co-anchor Jemele Hill, and Colin Kaepernick.
Over the weekend, NFL teams released an abundance of statements showing their solidarity with their players. During Sunday’s games, many players knelt during the national anthem or stood locking arms with one another. Some even stayed in the locker room for the anthem.
Sunday afternoon, Miami Dolphins’ safety Michael Thomas became emotional when discussing Trump’s “son of a bitch” comment.
“It just amazes me that with everything else that’s going on in the world, especially involving the U.S., that’s what you’re concerned about my man? You’re the Leader of the Free World and this what you talkin’ about?” Thomas told reporters.
He continued, “As a man, as a father, as an African American man, and as somebody in the NFL—as one of those ‘sons of bitches’—you know, yeah I took it personally, but at the same time, like I said in my Twitter post, it’s bigger than me, man.”
“It’s bigger than me, I have a daughter, she’s gonna have to live in this world. You know what I’m saying? And I’m gonna do whatever I gotta do to make sure she can look at her dad and be like, ‘Hey, he did something and tried to make a change,’” Thomas finished as tears came to his eyes and his voice began to break.