President Donald Trump is criticizing the National Football League for low scores and blaming players for protesting during the National Anthem, although none of them knelt during the singing of "The Star Spangled Banner".
"Wow, the rankings of the first NFL games are well below a comparison already very bad last year. The audience decreased 13%, the lowest in more than a decade. If the players stood proud of our flag and anthem, and everything is shown in the broadcast, maybe the rankings could come back? Otherwise, worse! ", The president tweeted on Sunday.
The NFL opening is shown between the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night He scored just 13.4 during the night of Nielsen on NBC, the network announced Friday.
That's the smallest audience for an NFL regular-season starter in the last 10 years, according to Sports Media Watch.
Trump hit the NFL for poor grades
He blamed the players for the protests, although none knelt during the national anthem in Thursday's game.
But while Trump blamed the protesters for the low audience only one player of the Eagles, Michael Bennett, seemed to protest during the game on Thursday.
Bennett represented the beginning of & # 39; The Star Spangled Banner & # 39 ;, but then sat on the team bench before the song ended.
The defensive end, which has protested in the past, did not raise its fist as it does in previous games. No Falcons player appeared to protest.
And no player was seen kneeling, an image that the president took advantage of during the last season of football to dominate the league and question the patriotism of the players.
Trump has been attacking the league on the upward ramp of the opening season, as representing the national anthem is seen as a problem that could regroup at his base before the midterm elections in November.
And the problem of the player's protest was once again the center of attention after Nike chose Former San Francisco 49ers field marshal Colin Kaepernick, who was one of the key figures in the protests against police brutality and racial injustice in 2016, to head a new advertising campaign.
Kaepernick's announcement was issued during the third quarter of Thursday's game.
Trump called Nike's decision "inappropriate."
At his rally in Montana on Thursday night, the president criticized the company's decision.
President Donald Trump says he does not think Nike's endorsement deal with Colin Kaepernick is appropriate to criticize him repeatedly for kneeling during the national anthem.
No player knelt during the national anthem in Thursday's game
Nike unveiled a sponsorship deal with the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who also narrates a new announcement of "Just Do It".
"I do not like what Nike did, I do not think it's appropriate what they did," Trump said in a Fox News interview before the rally.
I honor the flag. I honor our national anthem and most people in this country feel the same. "
The president also tweeted his criticism of the company.
& # 39; What was Nike thinking? & # 39; Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday in a reference to Kaepernick's announcement, which pays tribute to the 30th anniversary of the campaign "Just Do It & # 39; of the company.
The NFL in May announced a commitment policy on the national anthem where players on the field had to stand during their game, but gave the athletes the option to remain in the locker room if they preferred not to stand.
But that policy was shelved after the protests of the players.
Trump resigned the Superbowl champion Eagles to the White House after the victory when several players indicated they would not attend.