President Donald Trump's political rally on Friday in Alabama was generally absurd and unnecessary, which comes as unsurprising in a presidency marked more by scandal than policy.
But the most unusual part of the event, which was intended to bolster support for Republican Senatorial candidate Luther Strange, was Trump calling NFL players who peacefully and quietly protest by kneeling during the national anthem, "sons of bitches."
That wasn't the end of Trump's bizarre attack on professional athletes, however. He also rescinded a White House invitation to Stephen Curry, after Curry had already announced he would not be visiting the president's residence.
The response to Trump's comments– which were notably made between threats to North Korea, who has stated they would use weapons of mass destruction against the mainland U.S., and silence about the humanitarian crisis happening in Puerto Rico– was largely negative. Even long time supporters like Robert Kraft, the owner of the Patriots, expressed discontent about the "tone" of the President's remarks.
Early Sunday morning, the President continued to tweet about the NFL, as players from the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens linked arms and 20 players took a knee on the field before their London game. Even the owner of the Jaguars, the uber rich Shad Khan, joined the players on the field in a show of unity.
At a Saturday night Oakland Athletics game, the first MLB player took a knee as well. Bruce Maxwell, the son of a U.S. Army veteran, said that he was not disrespecting his country, but also made sure to highlight that the prevalence of racial discrimination in the United States was something he could not accept.
"It's being practiced from the highest power that we have in this country, and it's basically saying that it's OK to treat people differently," said Maxwell during a press conference after the game. "My kneeling, the way I did it, was to symbolize that I'm kneeling for a cause, but I'm in no way or form disrespecting my country or my flag."
Trump's early morning tweeting included a call to boycott the NFL– boycotting is a form of protest– if the NFL does not put an end to the protesting. It's unlikely the shows of unity will stop, as Sunday's games continue, and athletes from different professional sports speak out against Trump.
Twitter users have pointed out that in the wake of Trump's comments, it is important to remember that Colin Kaepernick was not kneeling in protest of Trump, but in protest of police brutality and racial inequality in the United States that disproportionately and unjustly targets black and brown people.