Trump and the NFL from Lawsuits to Kneeling and Protests

Why is Trump against the NFL - He owned a team in the USFL who tried to swith playing season to fall and sued NFL for monopoly. Awarded minimum $1. Donald Trump cartoon caricature APT

Trump sues NFL

The United States Football League (USFL) was a professional football league that played in the spring and summer of 1983, 1984 and 1985.

In 1983, Trump bought the USFL’s New Jersey Generals team

Trump was keen for the USFL to compete against the NFL by switching its playing season to the fall and winter, once saying:

“My attitude has always been the spring was a wasteland, and I came into this league on the basis, and predicated on the fact, that I thought the league would move to the fall.”

In 1984 the USFL announced that their 1986 season would begin in the fall. 

However, the USFL faced severe difficulties in obtaining contracts with major television networks, which resulted in the lawsuit connected with Donald Trump.

Donald Trump was not a plaintiff in the USFL lawsuit in a personal capacity, but the team he owned, the New Jersey Generals, was one of the plaintiffs.

The jury ruled that the NFL had violated Section 2 of the Sherman Act by retaining a monopoly power “to control prices or exclude competition” in the country’s professional football market.

The USFL had asked for $1.2 billion in damages, and the jury of five women and one man was split on the damages to be awarded the USFL and finally rewarded $1. As it was an antitrust case, the reward is tripled to give $3, to which interest was added to give a total reward $3.76.

Judge Peter Leisure had told the jurors to reward the minimum if they were not able to say definitively that the losses suffered by the USFL were caused by the NFL’s control of the market, as opposed to the USFL’s own poor management.

In a statement Trump said,

”We won a great moral victory. But now with the confusion and what seems to be a hung jury, we expect to win a total victory.”

The USFL launched a series of motions and appeals until 1990.

The 1986 USFL was postponed shortly after the trial, and the USFL never staged another game.

Kaepernick, kneeling and Trump

In September 2017, Trump attacked the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality toward African-Americans.

At a rally in Alabama on September 22 2017, Trump said:

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’”

Donald Trump - Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now.

“You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”

The comments set off a fierce national debate over the rights of the football players to protest during a moment of national exposure. Trump repeatedly refused to back down, saying the issue was about respect for the American flag and patriotism.

On September 23 2017, Trump tweeted:

“Ratings for NFL football are way down except before game starts, when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected!”

“Roger Goodell of NFL just put out a statement trying to justify the total disrespect certain players show to our country.Tell them to stand!”

On September 24 2017, Trump tweeted:

“If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!”

“…NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country. League should back U.S.”

“Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL should change policy!”

On September 25 2017, Trump tweeted:

“The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!”

.@CNN is #FakeNews. Just reported COS (John Kelly) was opposed to my stance on NFL players disrespecting FLAG, ANTHEM, COUNTRY. Total lie!

“General John Kelly totally agrees w/ my stance on NFL players and the fact that they should not be disrespecting our FLAG or GREAT COUNTRY!”

“Tremendous backlash against the NFL and its players for disrespect of our Country. #StandForOurAnthem”

On September 26 2017, Trump tweeted:

“Ratings for NFL football are way down except before game starts, when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected!”

“The booing at the NFL football game last night, when the entire Dallas team dropped to its knees, was loudest I have ever heard. Great anger”

“The NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations. The only way out for them is to set a rule that you can’t kneel during our National Anthem!”

On September 30 2017, Trump tweeted:

“Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!”

On October 10 2017, Trump tweeted:

“Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!”

On October 11 2017, Trump tweeted:

“It is about time that Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY”

On October 18 2017, Trump tweeted:

 “The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem. Total disrespect for our great country!”

.@NFL: Too much talk, not enough action. Stand for the National Anthem.

On October 23 2017, Trump tweeted

“Two dozen NFL players continue to kneel during the National Anthem, showing total disrespect to our Flag & Country. No leadership in NFL!”

On November 20 2017, Trump tweeted:

“Marshawn Lynch of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our National Anthem. Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down.”

On November 22 2017, Trump tweeted:

“At least 24 players kneeling this weekend at NFL stadiums that are now having a very hard time filling up. The American public is fed up with the disrespect the NFL is paying to our Country, our Flag and our National Anthem. Weak and out of control!”

On November 28 2017, Trump tweeted:

“At least 24 players kneeling this weekend at NFL stadiums that are now having a very hard time filling up. The American public is fed up with the disrespect the NFL is paying to our Country, our Flag and our National Anthem. Weak and out of control!”

Trump cancels visit of Philadelphia Eagles to White House

On June 4 2018, Trump called off the White House celebration honoring the Super Bowl-champion Philadelphia Eagles after a large number of players and coaches said they would boycott the visit after the president’s demands that players stand during the national anthem at games.

White House officials said that fewer than 10 members of the team were planning to attend the celebration planned for June 5 2018.

In a statement Trump said:

“The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. They disagree with their president because he insists that they proudly stand for the national anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country.”

Torrey Smith, a former wide receiver for the Eagles, tweeted:

“So many lies smh. Here are some facts 1. Not many people were going to go 2. No one refused to go simply because Trump “insists” folks stand for the anthem 3. The President continues to spread the false narrative that players are anti military.”

In a statement on June 4 2018, Mayor Jim Kenney of Philadelphia said:

“Disinviting them from the White House only proves that our President is not a true patriot, but a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend.”

Donald Trump - Disinviting them from the White House only proves that our President is not a true patriot, but a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size. Cartoon caricature APT

On June 4 2018, Trump tweeted:

“The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!”

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