The former head of the Republican National Committee said President Donald Trump “sounds stupid” when he lectures National Football League players not to protest police brutality against people of color.
Appearing on MSNBC with anchor Alex Witt, former RNC Chair Michael Steele explained the reasoning behind the NFL’s controversial decision to levy fines if players kneel during the National Anthem.
“The NFL got itself caught up in Donald Trump’s crazy world of political gamesmanship, being used as a deflection away from the heat coming from Mueller and Stormy Daniels and other things,” he observed.
“They didn’t need to step into it the way they did, but you have within the [NFL] ownership structure those who are very big Trumpists, and they wanted to be consistent in their support of this president’s hot rhetoric around the subject,” Steele, the former Lt. Governor of Maryland, explained.
“Look, what should the president’s role here be?” Witt asked. “Should he be weighing in at all on this particular issue?”
“No, the president needs to shut the hell up on this subject,” Steele counseled. “He sounds stupid, and he makes it worse.”
“You know, to infer that these athletes, because they don’t conform to his conditions for behavior or showing the kind of respect he wants them to show for the flag, that they should leave the country is not only outrageous, it’s just lame-brained,” he argued.
“I dismiss it on its face,” Steele noted. “It’s just pablum coming out of his mouth, synapses aren’t connecting, words just flow.”
“This was a respectful dissent around an important issue which has seemingly gotten lost,” Steele concluded.