On Sunday morning, Detroit Lions owner Martha Ford released the following statement regarding their players’ rights to protest:
“Our game has long provided a powerful platform for dialogue and positive change in many communities throughout our nation.
“Thanks primarily to our players, the NFL also has been a unifying force in our country and impactful change has and hopefully will continue to be the result of peaceful expression, done so in order to highlight social injustices of all kind.
“Negative and disrespectful comments suggesting otherwise are contrary to the founding principles of our country, and we do not support those comments or opinions.”
The statement comes as a response to Donald Trump’s comments during a rally on Friday night. During said rally, Trump said: "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He's fired! He's fired!'“
His comments have elicited a strong response from NFL players across the league. A few Lions players, like tight end Eric Ebron, were amongst those vocally against Trump’s comments:
Does anyone tell trump to stick to politics, like they tell us to stick to sports? Smh.— Eric Ebron (@Ebron85) September 23, 2017
Boy I tell ya..... y’all president something else.... homie need some help— Darius Slay (@_bigplayslay23) September 23, 2017
Rumors are swirling that many players across the league are planning some sort of demonstration during Sunday’s set of games. The Lions play the Atlanta Falcons—whose owner, Arthur Blank, issued a statement of his own—at 1 p.m. ET.