Los Angeles Times

For years, Trump bashed the NFL and players who protested racial injustice. Here's why he stopped

WASHINGTON - During his annual pre-Super Bowl news conference this week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sidestepped a question about President Donald Trump's complaints that the game had gone soft, insisting, "We have a lot of fans, the president among them."

Trump may sometimes sound like Joey from Tarzana or some other talk-radio caller, screaming about "S.O.B." players who should be "fired!" for kneeling during the national anthem. But as president, he has generated far more headaches for NFL team owners.

For two years, at rallies and in tweets, Trump's slams against the NFL players' protest stoked divisions over race and patriotism. Last fall, however, the president ceased his attacks, even calling the NFL a "great American company" during a rally in Minnesota.

The baffling ceasefire has continued as the league prepared for its annual showcase, the Super Bowl, on Sunday between the Los Angeles Rams

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