Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has no intentions of addressing President Donald Trump’s comments criticizing NFL players for protesting the national anthem with his team. And the players themselves had little to say on the subject matter.
At a rally in Alabama on Friday, Trump ripped NFL players who protested and said any NFL owner should “fire” players who did so. Trump said that owner would become “the most popular person in this country” for a week.
Trump referred to players who protest as a “son of a b----.”
Trump went on to encourage fans to exit the stadiums if a player protests during the anthem.
Garrett said he doesn’t feel it’s necessary to address the comments with his team.
“We have an approach that we believe in,” Garrett said. “I have no real comment beyond that.”
No Cowboys player has protested the anthem to date and Garrett expects none will in light of Trump’s comments.
Cowboys linebackers Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith said they disagreed with Trump’s comments, although didn’t expand much after that.
“I just heard the comments. I don’t agree with the comments,” Lee said. “I love my teammates like brothers. To be honest, that’s all I’m going to say on it.”
Added Smith: “I don’t agree with his comments, but I love my team. Really no other comment than that. I mean, I don’t agree with it, but …”
A number of players have chosen to kneel, sit or raise their fists in protest of racial inequality.
Trump ranted that those displays are a “total disrespect of our heritage. That’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for.”
Trump also bashed the NFL for its declining TV ratings and said the sport has gotten soft with its increased penalties on hits.
Garrett avoided saying much on the topic.
“I just don’t think it’s in anyone’s best interest for me to comment on that,” Garrett said.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed Trump’s comments in a statement released Saturday.
“The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture,” Goodell’s statement read. “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.
“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.”