Thanks to the Donald Trump Twitter account, the president is once again eating his words.
Doubling down on comments he made at a rally in Alabama on Friday, President Trump on Sunday evening condemned athletes, specifically football players, who engaged in silent protests during the national anthem, which is played before most major sports games.
“Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL should change policy,” Trump tweeted on Sunday evening.
Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL should change policy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
Over the weekend players from several teams, including the New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, the Denver Broncos and the Miami Dolphins took a knee or kneeled as the “Star Spangled Banner” played. The silent pregame started with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last season, who kneeled to draw attention to social and racial injustice in the United States. It is a move Trump has been quick to condemn as “disrespectful.”
In his weekend tweets Trump called for players who participate in the protests to be suspended or fired and called for NFL owners to fire any "son of a bitch" who "disrespects our flag” in a Saturday tweet.
If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL,or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
...our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU'RE FIRED. Find something else to do!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
But his direction for NFL team owners comes in direct contrast to the advice then businessman Trump had for then-President Barack Obama in 2013, who said he would “think about changing” the name of the Washington Redskins if he were the owner, knowing that “redskin” is a slur again Native Americans.
“President should not be telling the Washington Redskins to change their name-our country has far bigger problems! FOCUS on them, not nonsense,” Trump tweeted on October 8, 2013.
President should not be telling the Washington Redskins to change their name-our country has far bigger problems! FOCUS on them,not nonsense— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2013
Trump earned major criticism for his weekend for his focus on the NFL national anthem protests as Puerto Rico stands battered and without power and dwindling supplies following strikes from several major hurricanes.
This isn’t the first time the Trump Twitter account has been used to force the president to eat his own word. Trump instigated the birther movement, claiming an “extremely credible source” had told him that Barack Obama's birth certificate was a fake.
“An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud,” he tweeted Aug. 6, 2012.
But his tune on taking “sources” at face value had flipped by 2012.
“Anytime you see a story about me or my campaign saying "sources said," DO NOT believe it. There are no sources, they are just made up lies,” the then-presidential candidate said.