President Donald Trump on Sunday said that “football is boring as hell” at a campaign rally in Nevada, his latest statement in a long grievance campaign against the NFL and players protesting acts of racial injustice and police brutality.
While speaking to supporters in Henderson, a suburb of Las Vegas, at his first indoor rally since June, Trump lamented behavior that he believes is disrespectful to the country and detrimental to the spirit of the game. He added: “It’s just not the same, right?”
Trump then continued with his message to the cheering crowd, saying people once asked that events not be performed during games, but now “they say, ‘can you possibly do it during a football game?'”
President Trump: “Football’s boring as hell.” pic.twitter.com/z73HoKp4s9
— The Hill (@thehill) September 14, 2020
Trump has a long history of wading into cultural issues across the country, even with the racial reckoning and acts of police brutality that have defined civil unrest in the country this summer, and sports is no exception.
In 2017, mere months after he was sworn into office, Trump unleased a barrage of critcism against football players who kneeled during the national anthem, pressuring the NFL to terminate the employment of any offenders.
“Get that son of a b—- off the field right now, out. He’s fired. He’s fired!” Trump said at time, at a rally for then-Sen. Luther Strange, an Alabama Republican.
This June, Trump voiced uneven support for former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose anti-racism kneel was seen as the start of a larger movement among some players. When interviewed by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, Trump was asked if Kaepernick should play again.
“If he deserves it, he should,” Trump said. “If he has the playing ability. He started off great and then he didn’t end up very great in terms of as a player.”
In 2016, Kaepernick opted out of his contract and left the 49ers, and he has yet to receive a contract with another team. This past Sunday, CBS News reported that he criticized the league’s recent diversity initiatives, which include allowing racial justice messages on team helmets and end zones, tweeting that the actions amounted to “propaganda.”
While the NFL runs propaganda about how they care about Black Life, they are still actively blackballing Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) for fighting for the Black community. Eric set 2 franchise records last year, and is one of the best defensive players in the league. https://t.co/KQXTaOCcnU
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 13, 2020
There were some important political considerations that led to this visit. Trump would like to capture Nevada, a state he lost by 2.4% in 2016, and his campaign hopes to make inroads with the state’s large Latino population and run up the score in exurbuan and rural areas.
The Trump rally was also held just minutes away from Allegiant Stadium, the new home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders.
This content was originally published here.