Kaepernick's Lawyers Look to Subpoena Trump, Pence in NFL Fight

National Anthem Protest

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But Trump boasted Friday of the other winning teams he's welcomed to the White House in the past, including the New England Patriots.

Overall, 61% of voters said they do not approve of Trump's handling of race relations, the poll found. No Eagles players took a knee during the national anthem last season.

It will be interesting to see how the players react to Trump's proposal. He wants to hear from these players so they can recommend to him people deserving of pardons. While the political motivations of the statement can be openly debated, the public nature of Trump's comment - and the stated willingness to consider pardon recommendations from protesting athletes - represents a fairly dramatic contrast to previous rhetoric.

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NFL owners said in depositions that Trump factored into discussions on how to handle player protests in regard to the national anthem, The Wall Street Journal reported on May 30. He also invited players to make known people they think have been treated unfairly and promised to look into those cases.

"This is just another attempt to divert attention and, of course, it places Donald Trump as the master of everything, just appeal to me personally and I'll let your friends out or maybe I will pardon them", said Jeffrey Robinson, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Trump's remarks come after LeBron James said on Tuesday that neither his Cavaliers nor the defending champion Warriors would accept an invitation to the White House. President Trump has balked at the idea of allowing players to say in the locker room. He has not played for an NFL team since opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2017 and is suing the league, claiming the owners colluded by not signing him to a contract. They're not proud enough to stand for the national anthem, I don't like that.

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On Friday, Trump called his presidential power to pardon people a "beautiful thing", adding that "you got to get it right".

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.

Christopher Johnson, the CEO of the New York Jets, has said that his team would not discipline any player who protests during the anthem and would pay the league's fine in such an instance. The president also didn't address systemic and racial oppression, another huge part of the players' protests.

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