“Well, I don’t think he has manifested as much animosity in that region lately. And I think we just continue to work him. He’ll get there,” Carson, the only black member of the President’s Cabinet, said during an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt when pressed on whether he’s working to persuade Trump on the matter.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell conceded earlier this month that the league should have listened to players earlier about racism concerns.
“We the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people,” Goodell said. “We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest,” Goodell said.
Carson said Monday it was important that Americans understand why athletes are kneeling — as an act of peaceful protest to systemic racism and police brutality
“A lot of people are under the impression that they’re kneeling because they don’t respect our National Anthem or they don’t respect the flag or what it stands for. And in fact, I don’t think that’s the reason that most of them are kneeling. I think most of them are kneeling because you know, they want to protest some brutality in the police forces. They need to make that very clear,” Carson said.
He added: “And of course, now that that has been brought to national attention, I’m not sure if it needs to continue.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany reiterated the President’s opposition to the kneeling as recently as June 8.
“The President is very much against kneeling in general. The President has made clear for years that kneeling is tied to our National Anthem, that it does not respect our military men and women across this country. He’s not a fan of the kneeling movement. He’s made that very clear, particularly because he thinks it’s disrespectful to our military, as the kneeling originated at the kneeling during the National Anthem,” she said during a press briefing.
CNN’s Chloe Melas contributed to this report.