Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is backing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as President Donald Trump continues to hammer the NFL. Trump on Friday used an expletive when he suggested NFL owners fire any player that kneels during the national anthem. The President also tweeted on the topic many times.
Since last season several players, most notably Colin Kaepernick, have protested racial inequality by taking a knee during the national anthem. This weekend several teams stayed in the locker room while the national anthem played. Many teams locked arms, players both standing and kneeling, in an effort to show unity in wake of Trump's criticism. Watch Trump's statement below:
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians defended the NFL without mentioning President Trump by name saying he backs Commissioner Goodell's defense of the league. Arians' statement reads:
“I thought the commissioner had a great statement, and I agree with it. I’ve been in locker rooms for 25 years, and some of the most reputable men I’ve ever met wear that uniform. To even overcome the things in their life to get to the NFL is amazing. What they’ve done in the last month for hurricane relief victims speaks volumes of what we’re all about in the NFL."
Goodell's statement reads:
"The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture," Goodell said in a statement. "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."
Team President Michael Bidwill also released a statement:
"I am extremely proud of our players and the contributions they make that extend well beyond the playing field. There are countless examples of the positive influence and extraordinary impact these players have on our community. Football is something that has always united us as Americans and, particularly in times like these, has the ability to inspire rather than divide. It's a responsibility in which we have always taken great pride and will continue to embrace."
No Cardinals players have protested the national anthem since San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick started doing so last season.
The Cardinals host the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football tonight.