As Americans gathered around their televisions Sunday to watch the Super Bowl, President Donald Trump thought the best thing to do was to throw a little politics in the mix so sports fans have something else to think about besides what beer to buy to watch a football game. In a message in which he thanked the armed forces before the Super Bowl, the commander in chief also called on those watching the game to stand for the national anthem.
“Though many of our nation’s service members are unable to be home with family and friends to enjoy this evening’s American tradition, they are always in our thoughts and prayers,” Trump’s statement reads. “We owe these heroes the greatest respect for defending our liberty and our American way of life. Their sacrifice is stitched into each star and every stripe of our Star-Spangled Banner. We hold them in our hearts and thank them for our freedom as we proudly stand for the national anthem.”
Trump has never been shy about expressing his opposition to the NFL protests against police brutality and seems he wanted to be sure to bring up the topic again before the biggest football game of the year.
Amid his continuing criticism of football players who decide to take a knee during the national anthem, the president has decided not to participate in the traditional pre-Super Bowl interview. NBC extended the interview requests as is customary but they were all reportedly turned down. Last year, when Fox televised the Super Bowl, Trump sat down with Bill O’Reilly at the White house.
Trump is spending the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and refused to make any predictions about who would win the Super Bowl. “I better not get involved,” he told reporters on Friday.