Gingrich: Only Took Goodell 3 Weeks of 'Public Humiliation' to Get the Message
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday issued a memo to all 32 teams addressing the issue of players not standing for the national anthem before games.
In the memo, Goodell stated that the league believes that "everyone should stand for the national anthem" and "our country, and our fans expect that of us."
"It only took Roger, what, two or three weeks of public humiliation to finally get the message?" Newt Gingrich said on "Fox & Friends," noting that President Donald Trump has been a fierce critic of NFL players who refuse to stand for the national anthem, and the league and owners that have allowed them to do so.
It is about time that Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2017
"Trump has this unique ability to understand where the American people are and what the American people value," Gingrich explained.
He pointed to a recent Winston Group poll that found that the NFL is now the least respected professional or college sport.
He said the NFL owners were "frightened" of their players and initially tried to ignore the anthem protests in the hopes that the controversy would go away.
"And Trump wouldn't let it go away. He said, 'No, no, let's have a fight over this,'" Gingrich said. "And the result was when the country paid attention, the country said, 'Of course you ought to respect the flag.'"
Here's the full text of Goodell's memo:
"We live in a country that can feel very divided. Sports, and especially the NFL, brings people together and lets them set aside those divisions, at least for a few hours. The current dispute over the National Anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country.
"I'm very proud of our players and owners who have done the hard work over the past year to listen, understand and attempt to address the underlying issues within their communities. At our September committee meetings, we heard directly from several players about why these issues are so important to them and how we can support their work. And last week, we met with the leadership of the NFLPA and more players to advance the dialogue.
"Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem. It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.
"Building on many discussions with clubs and players, we have worked to develop a plan that we will review with you at next week's League meeting. This would include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues, and that will help to promote positive change in our country. We want to ensure that any work at the League level is consistent with the work that each club is doing in its own community, and that we dedicate a platform that can enable these initiatives to succeed. Additionally, we will continue the unprecedented dialogue with our players.
"I expect and look forward to a full and open discussion of these issues when we meet next week in New York. Everyone involved in the game needs to come together on a path forward to continue to be a force for good within our communities, protect the game, and preserve our relationship with fans throughout the country. The NFL is at its best when we ourselves are unified. In that spirit, let's resolve that next week we will meet this challenge in a unified and positive way."
Watch more above, and see Gingrich discuss his new book, "Vengeance," below.