(The Sports Xchange) – President Donald Trump continued his attack on the NFL on Tuesday, labeling the protests by teams and players as “disgraceful” and saying he was “ashamed” by what he witnessed.
Trump issued four tweets about the situation but made his strongest comments at a White House press conference in the Rose Garden. He said the Sunday and Monday protests were disrespectful to all Americans who have died or been injured while fighting for the United States.
The widow of former NFL player and U.S. Army serviceman Pat Tillman told CNN in a statement that she doesn’t wish for the memory of her husband to be politicized.
“As a football player and soldier, Pat inspired countless Americans to unify,” Marie Tillman told CNN. “It is my hope that his memory should always remind people that we must come together. Pat’s service, along with that of every man and woman’s service, should never be politicized in a way that divides us. We are too great of a country for that.”
Pat Tillman, a safety, elected to step away from his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals and join the U.S. Army in 2002. He was killed in action in 2004 at the age of 27.
Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II issued an open letter to the team’s fans two days after the club elected against taking the field for the national anthem.
“I want to reach out to you, the members of Steelers Nation, based on what I believe is a misperception about our players’ intentions in not taking the field for the national anthem in Chicago,” Rooney wrote in a letter that was published on the team’s official Twitter account. “The intentions of Steelers players were to stay out of the business of making political statement by not taking the field. Unfortunately, that was interpreted as a boycott of the anthem — which was never our players’ intention.”
Players concerned with Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson’s position on pregame protests are scheduled to meet with their boss to discuss those concerns.
According to a report in the Charlotte Observer, some Panthers fear repercussions if they join the growing number of NFL players demonstrating during the national anthem.
New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham was penalized for excessive celebration Sunday and the New York Giants plan to address the situation with him.
Giants owner John Mara said he was displeased when Beckham mimicked a dog urinating to celebrate a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles. The NFL loosened restrictive celebration rules in the offseason but any “bodily function” gestures result in a 15-yard penalty.
The Kansas City Chiefs placed Cairo Santos on injured reserve and signed fellow kicker Harrison Butker off the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad.
Santos, who was plagued by a groin injury during preseason, was a perfect 3-for-3 on field-goal attempts this season and made all 12 of his extra-point tries for the Chiefs (3-0).
Veteran outside linebacker Lawrence Timmons was reinstated by the Miami Dolphins from an indefinite suspension, the team announced.
Timmons disappeared the night before the team’s season-opening game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 17. He missed that contest and was subsequently suspended when his reasoning for going AWOL wasn’t deemed sufficient by the club.
Timmons also missed this past Sunday’s loss against the New York Jets. He is expected to play Sunday when the Dolphins play the New Orleans Saints in London.
Running back Trent Richardson signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, the team announced Tuesday.
Richardson finished third in the 2011 Heisman Trophy voting while at Alabama, and he was the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.