President Donald Trump’s comments Friday night at an event in Huntsville, Alabama, have been the talk of the sports world for the past day. Speaking to a crowd, Trump took on the topic of protests by NFL players, some of whom have chosen to kneel during the national anthem before games to protest racial injustice, by suggesting they be fired by league owners for disrespecting the United States’ flag. 

“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!'” Trump said

By and large, the NFL has resented Trump’s comments, though the severity in the backlash has been varied to say the least. Players, as one would imagine, have been the most vocal and explicit opponents of Trump’s speech. But the responses to Trump haven’t been limited to the NFL. The NBA is also at odds with Trump since the Golden State Warriors were uninvited to the White House after heavy criticism of Trump by Stephen Curry (though whether the Warriors were ever going in the first place is up for debate). LeBron James even weighed in against Trump.

Now, college football is getting in on the conversation. Asked about the president’s words on Saturday, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh went beyond simply calling the statement “ridiculous.”

“No, I don’t agree with the president,” he said. “That’s ridiculous. Check the Constitution.” 

Harbaugh does have a particularly close tie to the situation as he was Colin Kaepernick’s coach while in San Francisco. And it was Kaepernick who started this movement in 2016, which has become more prevalent in 2017 than it was last year. 

Harbaugh has been asked about Kaepernick’s protest, which is centered around racial injustices rather than the national anthem itself, in the past and came under some fire when he said, “I acknowledge [Kaepernick’s] right to do that. I don’t respect the motivation or the action.” Harbaugh later clarified on Twitter by saying he supported Kaepernick’s motivation but not the method of action. 


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