Considering all of the grief President Donald Trump routinely gets from the sports world, it’s always a surprise when a prominent sports figure gives the president credit.
It’s even more surprising when that prominent sports figure presides over one of Trump’s favorite punching bags, the NFL.
“We greatly appreciate President Trump’s leadership and determination in bringing about a resolution to our intellectual property issue in Canada,” Goodell said in his statement.
The beleaguered commissioner was referring to Trump’s new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade deal, which scraps and replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The USMCA settles a simmering feud between the NFL and Canada regarding the way Super Bowl ads are handled.
According to Fox Business, Canadian regulators ruled in 2015 that only U.S. commercials could air during the annual broadcast of the Super Bowl. The USMCA makes it so that local broadcasters can sell commercial slots exclusive to Canada.
For the NFL, it’s a big potential boost to their ad revenue from Canadian television rights.
For Trump, it’s another feather in his cap over the historic USMCA deal.
Naturally, Trump wasn’t about to let the NFL completely off the hook.
“During the negotiation, I said, ‘You got to fix the NFL problem,’” he told the New York Post about his trade talks with Canada. “It took me two minutes and now the NFL is so happy it’s all worked out.”
Trump said he didn’t expect much praise from the league’s players despite helping their bottom line.
“And now our country will be taking tens of millions of dollars more money,” he said. “A lot of it is going to go to the players and they’ll still hate me, can you believe that!?”
Of note, Trump has been one of Goodell’s harshest critics during the controversy over national anthem protests.
The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2018
A majority of NFL players protested in Week 3 of the 2017 season after the president gave a blistering speech condemning anthem protests. Many players knelt, sat or raised a fist during the anthem that week, while others opted to link arms in a show of unity.
For the time being, it seems that the NFL and Trump are tenuously on common ground. After all, according to Sports Illustrated, a 30-second commercial during the last Super Bowl cost at least $5 million. Trump and the NFL don’t have much in common, but they both do love their money.
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