Trump Today: Trump Today: President blasts NFL over possible change to national anthem policy

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This column provides a daily update on key presidential actions as well as comments, whether spoken aloud or on Twitter, by President Trump. Like the stock market, the deadline for Trump Today action is 4 p.m. Eastern Time, even as we acknowledge that substantive news can and does occur after hours.

President Donald Trump ripped the NFL after a report about possible changes to the league’s national anthem policy, escalated his attacks on a UCLA basketball player’s father, and said he was monitoring the Navy’s search effort after a plane crashed into the sea south of Japan.

‘ALMOST AS BAD AS KNEELING!’

Trump said a possible change to NFL policy is “almost as bad as kneeling!” during the national anthem. The Washington Post reported some NFL owners believe they will revert to keeping players in the locker room while the national anthem is played, if player protests during the anthem continue through the end of this season. Protests began last season with Colin Kaepernick, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers, kneeling during the national anthem to call attention to racial injustice.

“When will the highly paid Commissioner [Roger Goodell] finally get tough and smart?” Trump said on Twitter. “This issue is killing your league!” The president is at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for Thanksgiving.

Also see: Papa John’s apologizes for blaming NFL player protests for its poor sales.

BALL A ‘POOR MAN’S VERSION OF DON KING’

Trump ramped up his war of words with LaVar Ball, whose son LiAngelo was freed over a week ago from detention in China after being held for shoplifting. Ball has said it was President Xi Jinping who was responsible for his son’s release. “IT WAS ME,” Trump wrote on Twitter, adding that the elder Ball was “just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair.”

Trump also called LaVar Ball an “ungrateful fool!”

MONITORING RESCUE MISSION

Trump said on Twitter he was “monitoring the situation” following the crash of a U.S. Navy aircraft. Eight people were rescued and three are missing after the plane crashed en route to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which is operating in the Philippine Sea.

Read: Three missing, eight rescued after U.S. Navy plane crashes near Japan.