President Trump re-ignited his ongoing feud with the National Football League on Thursday morning, posting a heartbreaking image of a grieving military family and demanding players who choose to “take a knee” during the anthem remember the photo before disrespecting the flag.
The Commander-in-Chief shared the image on social media, first published by another user and depicting a woman grieving by a fallen soldier’s grave; the caption reading “THIS IS WHY WE STAND.”
“So beautiful,” tweeted the President. “Show this picture to the NFL players who still kneel!”
So beautiful….Show this picture to the NFL players who still kneel! https://t.co/tJLM1tvbvb
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2018
— CoreyJones?? (@CoreyLMJones) September 16, 2017
The NFL continues to hemorrhage viewers and infuriate fans as the league enters Week 17 of the 2017 season. The organization has been embroiled in months of controversy with dozens of professional athletes refusing to stand during the performance of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ during pre-game ceremonies.
Industry experts estimate the scandal has cost the league upwards of $500 million.
GAME OVER: 'Disgraceful' NFL to DITCH On-Field National Anthem
NFL owners and officials are considering changing the league’s rules for the upcoming 2018 season, crafting new policies that would keep all athletes in the locker room during the performance of the national anthem should player protests continue.
According to Sports Illustrated, the NFL is weighing the move after months of their athletes’ choosing to “take a knee” as the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ rings out throughout stadiums across the country.
The ensuring controversy has cost the league millions of dollars in decreased television ratings and ticket sales.
“I think that if players are still kneeling at the end of the year, then it could very well happen,” said a source close to the discussion.
President Trump thrust the issue of player protests into the national spotlight earlier this year when he called for a national boycott should the “disgraceful” league continue to permit political displays.
Just this week, the President called for a season-long suspension for one NFL star who chose to kneel during the US national anthem, but stood for the Mexican anthem while playing an international game in Mexico City.
Several coaches have vowed to stop the act, but none have implemented any policies that actually ban players from “taking a knee.”
GAME OVER: 'Monday Night Football' Ratings COLLAPSE to Record Lows
The National Football League continues to hemorrhage fans as player protests during the national anthem enter their second month, with ratings for the NFL’s premier ‘Monday Night Football’ plunging nearly 10% in just one week.
According to Deadline Hollywood, Monday night’s match-up netted just a 7.2 market share, down 9% from the previous week’s already dismal ratings. The low figure matches the troubled league’s second lowest viewership of the 2017 season.
“With a 7.2 in metered market results, last night’s MNF was down 9% from last week’s Philadelphia Eagles’ 34-24 triumph over the Washington Redskins,” writes Deadline.
“While not the MNF season low of the October 16 battle between the Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts, last night’s Chiefs vs. Broncos match-up is very close to the previous MNF season low of the October 9 Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears games,” adds the author.
The NFL has been struggling to regain its footing following weeks of players choosing to “take a knee” during the performance of the US national anthem. The ensuing controversy gained national attention when President Trump called for a total boycott of the NFL until officials and owners require players to stand during the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’