Burgess Owens, a Super Bowl champion and conservative commentator, credits President Donald Trump’s leadership for inspiring the National Football League’s new national anthem policy.
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“President Trump drew a line in the sand and that is very simply, we live in the greatest country in the history of mankind,” he said during an interview on FOX Business’ “The Evening Edit” program on Thursday. “It time for us to stop the leftist movement and be proud of who we are.”
New reports from The Wall Street Journal suggest that President Trump’s position on the NFL national anthem protests helped influence the change in policy by the league.
The deposition in former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s grievance filed against the NFL indicate Trump’s criticism of player protests drove a wedge into the sharply divided controversy.
“This is a very winning, strong issue for me,” Trump told Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in a phone call, Jones said in a deposition obtained by WSJ. “Tell everybody, you can’t win this one. This one lifts me.”
Owens discredits Kaepernick’s claims in his grievance against the league that the president’s relationship with various NFL owners prompted an organized force that colluded against the former quarterback.
“This is the problem we are having with what we are teaching our kids,” he said. “[Kaepernick] has no clue about the free market.”
Owens said the NFL as a corporation has the right to determine who is of value to their organization.
“You cannot protest to get a job,” he said. “Either you bring value or you get fired [and] you have to find something else to do.”