National pastimes will lose the president’s spectatorship, if activist players are allowed to protest against police brutality and prejudice against those belonging to another race during games.
The Trump administration is tired of demonstrators using competitive sports, such as U.S. Soccer and the NFL, as a platform to express disapproval of the death in custody of Minnesotan George Floyd.
Local police allegedly handcuffed and kneed Floyd’s throat before he became unresponsive and later died on May 25. This quickly led to extreme, “anarchist” protests spreading across the nation.
“I won’t be watching much [U.S. Soccer] anymore,” President Donald Trump said on Twitter.
The remarks came after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) slammed the U.S. Soccer Federation for supporting the protesters and repealing policy 604-1 that requires competitors to stand while the national anthem is playing.
The policy was implemented months after U.S. women’s national team member Megan Rapinoe knelt during the anthem to support NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who protested against racial injustice back in 2016, according to Reuters.
“I would rather the United States not have a soccer team than have a soccer team that will not stand for the national anthem,” he said on Twitter. “You should not get to play under our flag as our national team, if you will not stand when it is raised.”
Gaetz believes allowing athletes to kneel during the national anthem shows disrespect toward the patriotic musical composition, and suggested the federation should be renamed.
“Why not just go full woke and remove the “U.S.” altogether?” he said on Twitter.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) was also confused by the federation’s decision to stop requiring competitors to stand for the anthem.
“Let me get this straight, UNITED STATES Soccer won’t stand for the UNITED STATES National Anthem?” he said on Twitter.
The Oval Office confirmed the NFL is also planning to introduce similar measures to support the protesters.
“And it looks like the NFL is heading in that direction also but not with me watching,” the president said on Twitter.
Gaetz believes the Soccer Federation might reverse its decision if the federal government warned it might withdraw financial assistance due to the repealed policy.
“Defund US Soccer,” he said on Twitter.
He also has no interest in supporting sports bodies that show no respect for the national flag.
“I do not care enough about soccer to have a U.S. Soccer team that disrespects the flag they play under,” he said on Twitter.