Monday, 27 May, 2019

Donald Trump asks National Football League players to suggest people he should pardon

New Orleans Saints players and team kneel prior to the NFL match against the Miami Dolphins last year GETTY IMAGES New Orleans Saints players and team kneel prior to the NFL match against the Miami Dolphins last year
Cary Erickson | 10 June, 2018, 05:19

Only two weeks after suggesting NFL players who have protested racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem should be deported, President Trump on Friday said he wants to ask those same athletes to recommend people who should be pardoned.

Colin Kaepernick's legal team is reportedly expected to to seek federal subpoenas to force President Trump to testify in the free agent quarterback's ongoing collusion case against the NFL.

If Kaepernick's lawyers can show NFL owners have discussed Kaepernick, the national anthem protests and the fears they have of the president continuing to criticize their handling of the situation, they may be able to prove collusion has taken place.

"We have a great country". Seventy percent of Republicans called National Football League players kneeling unpatriotic and 81 percent said they did not have a right to protest during games, while 85 percent and 82 percent of Democrats disagreed, respectively. "And I understand that".

He says he and a committee will review applications from the players and potentially pardon them.

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Trump also raised some eyebrows when he said he was considering pardoning deceased boxing icon Muhammed Ali - many noted that this was technically impossible since the charges against Ali were overturned by the Supreme Court decades ago.

The NFL and NFL Players Association did not respond to requests for comment on Trump's remarks. "They're not proud enough to stand for our national anthem", he said. Tell everybody, you can't win this one. "I don't like that", Trump said.

By a 53-to-43% margin, Americans say professional athletes have the right to protest on the playing field, though 51% of voters said they support the NFL's new policy requiring players to stand. It'll be interesting to see what they think about Trump's quotes.

On Friday, speaking to reporters before leaving for a Group of Seven summit in Canada, Trump challenged those players, the majority of whom are African-American, to advise him on employing his pardon power.

Trump also used the press conference to discuss commuting the sentence of Alice Johnson, who received a life sentence more than 20 years ago for her role in a drug trafficking operation.