Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson said he thinks President Donald Trump will come around on his harsh stance against professional athletes choosing to kneel in protest during the national anthem, during an interview on Monday.
Conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt asked Carson if he would get involved in helping Trump change his attitude toward players who are taking a knee.
“Well, I don’t think he has manifested as much animosity in that region lately,” Carson responded. “And I think we just continue to work him. He’ll get there.”
Many professional sports players have announced that they will take a knee during the anthem to show their support for racial justice and demand for anti-police brutality measures to be put in place. The first player to take a knee as a way to send a message was former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick back in 2016. Professional athletes who opted to kneel were slammed for disrespecting the American flag.
The call to kneel has been revived in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man, who was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis last month.
Trump blasted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for speaking out in a video message that the league was “wrong for not listening” to players earlier and encouraged “all to speak out and peacefully protest.”
“Could it be even remotely possible that in Roger Goodell’s rather interesting statement of peace and reconciliation, he was intimating that it would now be O.K. for the players to KNEEL, or not to stand, for the National Anthem, thereby disrespecting our Country & our Flag?” Trump tweeted in response.
Over the weekend, Trump tweeted he wouldn't be watching much soccer. The U.S. Soccer Federation recently announced plans to drop its requirement that players stand during the anthem.
Carson said players need to make sure they have conversations about why they are kneeling.
He added that perhaps the kneeling may come to an end because recent protests have put calls for racial justice and demand for anti-police brutality in the national spotlight.
“I think most of them are kneeling because, you know, they want to protest some brutality in the police forces. They need to make that very clear,” he said. “And, of course, now that that has been brought to national attention, I’m not sure if it needs to continue.”
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.