President Donald Trump has been bashing the NFL for more than a year after a few players began kneeling during the national anthem, with hardly any push-back from the league or team owners.
Finally, New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch has spoken up.
“Hopefully he’ll have much more going on that he’s going to have to deal with, and should deal with and must deal with, than worrying about what NFL players do,” Tisch told Mark Malkin of The Hollywood Reporter.
“He has no understanding of why they take a knee or why they’re protesting. When the new season starts, I hope his priorities are not criticizing the NFL and telling owners what to do and what not to do.”
Tisch added: “We support our players. They are not going to be punished. There is not going to be any punitive action taking place against them.”
Fellow Giants co-owner John Mara said last season that he received numerous letters from fans threatening to never attend another game if any members of the Giants protest during the anthem.
Defensive end Olivier Vernon later did, although he said he wouldn’t do it this season if he was going to be fined.
The NFL has put in place a new national anthem policy that requires players and league personnel to either stand for the anthem or remain in the locker room.
The policy also subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other personnel do not show respect for the anthem.
However, the NFL Players’ Association filed a grievance on July 10 against the new policy, which is on hold while the NFLPA and the NFL negotiate over the issue.
President Trump, at first, seemed to be in favor of the new policy, but later spoke out against it.