If you’re looking for the latest crazy Donald Trump sayings, you’ve come to the right place. Now, the Republican presidential candidate is saying that football is “soft.”
He spoke at a rally in Reno, Nevada Sunday, covering topics from Iraq to football.
“It’s boring. Although I love [New England Patriots quarterback] Tom Brady, I gotta tell you — I do love Tom — he’s a great guy,” Trump said via the Washington Post. “But it’s different. But it’s become soft and our country has become soft.”
Trump is likely referencing the cringe-worthy hit by Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict in the NFC Wildcard game Saturday night. Trump criticized the new and improved NFL:
“It’s a Sunday, who the hell wants to watch these crummy games?” Trump said. “I just want to watch the end. By the way — okay, let me go there for a second. Let me end that story. So we gave them Iraq, we’re stupid. We’re stupid. I’ll change things. Believe me, I’ll change things. And again, we’re going to be so respected. I don’t want to use the word ‘feared.’ What I just said about a game — so I’m watching a game yesterday. What used to be considered a great tackle, a violent head-on [tackle], a violent — if that was done by Dick Butkus, they’d say he’s the greatest player. If that were done by Lawrence Taylor — it was done by Lawrence Taylor and Dick Butkus and Ray Nitschke, right? Ray Nitschke — you used to see these tackles and it was incredible to watch, right?
“Now they tackle. ‘Oh, head-on-head collision, 15 yards.’ The whole game is all screwed up. You say, ‘Wow, what a tackle.’ Bing. Flag. Football has become soft. Football has become soft. Now, I’ll be criticized for that. They’ll say, ‘Oh, isn’t that terrible.’ But football has become soft like our country has become soft. [Applause] It’s true. It’s true.”
Trump added, “The outcome of games has been changed by what used to be phenomenal, phenomenal stuff. Now these are rough guys, these are rough guys. These guys — what they’re doing is incredible, but I looked at it and I watched yesterday in particular. So many flags, right? So many flags. And I could imagine a guy like Lawrence Taylor and Dick Butkus, who was really rough, and some of these guys sitting there watching. ‘Wow, what a beautiful tackle.’ ‘Fifteen yards! That’s — the game is over.’ You can’t kick a field goal any more.”
These comments came just one day after the most interesting game yet in the playoffs. The Cincinnati-Pittsburgh matchup resulted in two personal fouls on the Bengals, which helped put the Steelers in position to kick a field goal and win the game. The first personal foul came from Burfict, who hit Antonio Brown so hard I thought he wasn’t going to get back up. Burfict reportedly will be facing a fine or suspension for the hit.
Although I find football to be somewhat entertaining, it’s am injury-prone sport that just doesn’t always sit right with me. Don’t get me wrong. I understand that ALL sports come with risks. But there is an intensity that comes with football that can be pretty scary.
While I see what Trump is talking about with excessive flags, “soft” is never a word I’d use to describe the sport. It’s nowhere close.