United States president Donald Trump created quite a stir in the NFL by calling any player who kneels during the national anthem a "son of a b****" and calling for owners to "fire" those players.
NFL teams responded with a massive display of solidarity Sunday and Monday as players, coaches and owners all locked arms during the anthem to relay a message to Trump that they will not be divided.
There was also football played during what was a drama-filled week three full of comeback wins and big upsets.
Here's the latest edition of "He said what?!"
– Bills running back LeSean McCoy on Trump: "The flag, the national anthem means a lot to me, to my team-mates... and I was very bothered by the comments of our president, of this country. As a president, you're supposed to lead, and you're supposed to bring us together. You're supposed to lead this country. I can't stand and support something where our leader of this country is just acting like a jerk, angry and upset about NFL players protesting in a peaceful manner."
– Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Trump: "I certainly disagree with what he said. I thought it was just divisive."
– Dolphins safety Michael Thomas on Trump: "It just amazes me with everything else going on this world, especially involving the US, that's what you're concerned about? You're the leader of the free world," Thomas told reporters. "This is what you're talking about? As a man, as a father, as an African-American man, somebody in NFL player as one of those sons of b******, I took it personally, but it's bigger than me. I have a daughter. She's going to have to live in this world. I'm going to do whatever I have to do to make sure she can look at her dad and be like, 'You did something to try to make a change.'"
– Saints coach Sean Payton on Trump: "I would say, personally, I’m disappointed in the comments that were made. I think we need a little bit more wisdom in that office."
– Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer on Trump: "I know for a fact that I'm no son of a b**** and I plan on continuing forward and doing whatever I can from my position to promote the equality that's needed in this country.''
– Redskins cornerback Josh Norman on Trump: "Not my president. He was chosen, true. But when a president acts like that, what do you say to that? That's not someone that stands with dignity, pride, respect, honour. Where's the honour in that? Where's the dignity in that? Where is anything that's prideful in doing what you did? It's sad to be an American nowadays, when you sit up here and listen to that. I promise you, the next time there is voting or anything about it, we will be the first in line. Because this right here, is not acceptable... When a man calls you out like that, behind the [office of the] POTUS, and he's supposed to be the president of America – he's supposed to be – calls you out like that, in a group, and there's more going on in the world, that's frustrating. We had to do something and the time was now."
– Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on Trump: "We will not be divided by this. We've got a group of men in there that come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, races, creed, ethnicities, and religions, and so forth. That's football. That's a lot of team sports. But because of our position, we get dragged into bulls***, to be quite honest with you."
– Saints quarterback Drew Brees on kneeling during the national anthem: "I disagree with what the president said and how he said it. I think it was unbecoming of the office of the president of the United States to talk like that, to degrade people like that and obviously, he's disappointed a lot of people. As far as the national anthem protest, I've said this before and I'll say it again – let me say this first. Do I think there is inequality in this country? Yes I do. Do I think that there is racism? Yes I do. I think that there is inequality for women, for women in the workplace. I think that there is inequality for people of colour, for minorities, for immigrants, but as it pertains to the national anthem I will always feel that if you are an American that the national anthem is the opportunity for us all to stand up together to be unified and to show respect for our country – to show respect for what it stands for, the birth of our nation... There will always be issues with our country... The national anthem and standing for the national anthem and looking at the flag with your hand over your heart is a unifying thing that should bring us all together. And we say, you know what, things are not where they should be, but we will continue to work and strive to make things better – to bring equality to all people, men, women, no matter what your race, creed, religion, it doesn't matter. Equality for all, but if you're an American I will always believe that we should be standing, showing respect to our flag with our hand over our heart."
Saints statement pic.twitter.com/E6qNlciZSO— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) September 24, 2017
– Panthers coach Ron Rivera on the protests during the national anthem: "To me I don't think this has anything to do with disrespect for the military or disrespect for first responders. I think this is about the rights and freedoms people have and people deserve. I think a lot of these players want to stand up against bigotry and injustice. I think they deserve to have the right forum, put in the right context for them."
– Former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan on players reacting to Trump: "A lot of them have taken exception to being called SOBs. They feel like they've been told to stay in their place. I think that's very frustrating for these guys. Not everyone kneels. But for the guys who don't kneel, they do have an understanding of what the other guys are kneeling for. It's a personal preference as a player, to choose to kneel or choose not to kneel. But it's turned into an issue about the flag. It's never been an issue about the flag. It's been an issue about inequality, injustice and mistreatment of minorities."
– Dolphins coach Adam Gase on his team's offense in Sunday's 20-6 loss to the Jets: "I'm tired of watching it for two years, just garbage. We've got to figure it out."
– Eagles coach Doug Pederson on the season-ending injuries to running back Darren Sproles: "It's a devastating loss obviously with the punt return, the special teams aspect of it. So we'll look at everything the next couple of hours but probably the next day or so... It's going to have to be the next-man mentality."
– Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott on his diving touchdown in Monday's 28-17 win over the Cardinals: "I was just hoping I didn't helicopter. I'm thankful I just went straight over."
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