“You used to see these tackles and it was incredible to watch,” Trump said on Sunday. “Now they tackle — ‘Oh, head-on-head collision, 15 yard (penalty)’.
Trump’s comments came on the second day of the NFL playoffs, and a day after a chippy game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers, in which two personal foul calls on Bengals defenders helped the Steelers move within range of their game-winning field goal.
Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict could be facing suspension for driving his shoulder into the head of Pittsburgh receiver Antonio Brown, who suffered a concussion.
“I watched yesterday in particular. So many flags, right? So many flags,” Trump said, voicing admiration for legendary hard-man defenders Dick Butkus, Lawrence Taylor and Ray Nitschke, and his affection for New England Patriots superstar quarterback Tom Brady, a personal friend.
The National Football League’s efforts to tone down some of the game’s violence in a bid to protect player health has made gridiron “soft”, US presidential hopeful Donald Trump said.