By JOSH KIRK, Associated Press The NFL’s 100th birthday was a milestone in the history of the league, but the White house celebrated it with a surprise appearance from President Donald Trump.
The president’s team took the stage at halftime to celebrate the league’s first 100 days in office, and the NFL, the NFL Players Association and the American Institute of Architects joined in the festivities.
“The NFL is a great example of what it means to be American and what it’s meant to be to me,” Trump said during a brief speech to the league.
“And the NFL is not only an iconic organization, but also an institution that has given back, has inspired, and is a wonderful inspiration to so many people.”
The NFL has been in the news for many reasons, but Trump’s speech made it clear he’s not a fan of the current state of affairs.
“They’re doing a terrible job,” Trump told the league and its players.
“It’s time for them to get over it.
The game is dying.
We’ve got to get the NFL back to where it belongs.”
But even as the president was lauding the league for its achievements, his team was celebrating the league itself.
“Thank you to the owners of the New York Giants for supporting and creating a Super Bowl for the Nation.
We love you,” Trump tweeted, before adding: “Thank You, New York City.”
Trump’s remarks weren’t the first time he has expressed his displeasure with the league over its efforts to keep the game in New York.
In June, he was so annoyed by the lack of cooperation from the league that he took out a full-page ad in the New Yorker asking for the league to “get the hell out of the city.”
But as the NFL’s popularity grew over the past decade, the president had been trying to bring the league back to its roots and to the forefront of national debate.
He began to talk about the league more frequently after Trump took office, especially during the 2016 presidential campaign, when he criticized the league as a corrupt and ineffective organization that was “rigging the game.”
During the campaign, Trump repeatedly called out the league when it failed to pay its players properly.
In his speech to players, Trump called for a new era of unity and prosperity, with the NFL coming out of its collective grief over Super Bowl LI.
“We have to come together, we have to make our players proud,” Trump proclaimed.
“I want to tell you right now, I think we’re going to be very proud of you.
And you’re going do a great job.”
He said the NFL has a “very great, great opportunity” to be the “most successful business in the world.”
But his team’s president, Dan Rooney, said Trump’s message to the players didn’t go far enough.
“There’s a lot of people that don’t like what the president is saying about the NFL and we’re just very disappointed that he didn’t get the message across,” Rooney said.
“He’s very passionate about the game, but he didn, I’m sorry to say, he didn at the same time.”
The president, who previously praised the league after a Superdome collapse, did not directly criticize the players during his speech.
But the president did not mince words in his remarks.
“All of us, you guys, all of us are going to take this thing and turn it around, and it’s going to change the game,” he said.
He added, “You know, this is a team that has had so many failures, and now we’ve got another chance to do something.”
Trump has been critical of the NFL for years and even questioned the league during the 2020 presidential election.
The commissioner said he was “shocked” when Trump told him about his concerns.
“If you want to have an NFL team, you have to pay a player’s salary,” Trump replied.
“You have to play the game.
You have to put the game on.
Trump said in 2018 that the league “is a disgrace” and that he was not happy with its players, but has since been silent on the issue. “
To me, he sounded like a spoiled brat.”
Trump said in 2018 that the league “is a disgrace” and that he was not happy with its players, but has since been silent on the issue.
The NFL and Trump have been at odds since the NFL began playing in New Orleans in 1954.
In 2017, Trump made the controversial decision to fire Commissioner Roger Goodell and called the league an “agent of the owners.”
Trump then called the commissioner a “fraud” and a “loser” in 2018, when the commissioner was accused of lying to Congress.
In 2019, the commissioner pleaded guilty to criminal charges for his role in a conspiracy to block the sale of the Super Bowl XLVII rights, which he had won for the previous four years.
The league was fined $1.25 billion and its members were ordered to pay $