White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday tried to claim that NFL players who were kneeling during the national anthem weren't actually protesting racism -- and she earned a strong rebuke from panelists on CNN.
Panelist Christine Brennan called Sanders' response "alarming" and "appalling," and said that it seemed the press secretary had absolutely no idea why players would want to protest against police brutality.
"You just want to throw up your hands as a journalist and say, 'What are you hearing?'" Brennan said. "Obviously, the answers -- just, she can't answer."
Retired NFL player Ephraim Salaam was even harsher in his assessment of the White House, and he also ripped NFL owners who stood with their players on Sunday while also overlooking all the racist statements Trump made during the 2016 presidential campaign.
"I am not fooled by any of it," he said of the owners' gestures. "A large portion of these owners, nine teams, to be exact, contributed funds to -- directly to President Trump and his campaign. This is not something -- these statements he made about the NFL and about these players taking the knee, those aren't surprising to me. I'm not shocked by that because if you look at his platform that he ran on, the rhetoric was unbelievable. He's been disparaging people -- handicapped people, women, minorities -- the whole time, and for you to and donate money to a person like that, to take office in the best country in the world, and now you're upset?"
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