Former President Barack Obama briefly commented on President Trump’s attacks on national anthem protesters in the NFL, lamenting that not even football is safe from the pervasiveness of politics in today’s climate.
“Our big problem right now is politics,” the former president said during a speech Monday in New York City, The New York Times reported. “Can’t even get it out of football!”
The comment comes amid controversy over NFL players kneeling for the national anthem as a protest against racial injustice in America. Mr. Trump has attacked players who protest the anthem, saying they should be fired and the NFL should impose rules disallowing it. His remarks sparked a widespread show of solidarity among many NFL players, who have responded by kneeling or locking arms during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Mr. Obama’s speech Monday at a conference on health care, sponsored by the brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald, marked at least his ninth paid speech since he left the White House, The Times reported. The former president mostly avoided criticizing his successor, but characterized the GOP’s efforts to repeal Obamacare as a a cynical political exercise, The Times reported.
“This is a big system, and it’s complicated, but what to do that would make it better is actually not that mysterious,” Mr. Obama said. “But it does require putting ideology aside.”
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