Donald Trump Takes Aim at Roger Goodell, Anthem Protests in Late-Night Tweet

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Super Bowl Press Conference
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Super Bowl Press Conference / Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

At 11:54 p.m. ET Sunday night, Donald Trump took a break from whatever else he had going on to take a shot at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Twitter. Trump is clearly perturbed after Goodell essentially approved of his league's players protesting during the national anthem in a video the commissioner released on Friday.

Here's the tweet:

Trump spent much of the 2017 NFL season ripping the players who kneeled during the national anthem as they protested police brutality and systemic injustice in America. At a rally in Alabama in September of 2017, Trump said owners should get rid of any anthem protesters and should say, "Get that son of a bitch off the field right now."

That statement caused NFL owners and players to lock arms and kneel together in a rebuke of the president. But some owners eventually bowed under the pressure and took Trump's side. Goodell appeared to be among them. Now, he appears to have changed his tune.

On Friday, Goodell and the NFL released a video in which he claimed the league was wrong not to listen to the concerns of its players. He also encouraged players to peacefully protest, all but giving them a green light to kneel during the national anthem this season. It's pretty clear the NFL is finally splitting from Trump on the issue. The president has noticed and he's likely to attack Goodell and company repeatedly.

We've already seen Trump attack Drew Brees and we've seen Brees respond with a powerful statement. It will be fascinating to see if the NFL, its players and its owners stand together or fracture in the face of Trump's criticisms.