Some within the NFL are eager to move on from the sport’s very public feud with President Trump and return the focus to football this weekend.
Dave Gettleman, New York Giants: The Giants hired the former Carolina Panthers general manager during the final week of the regular season to take over for the fired Jerry Reese. Gettleman, 66, shares deep roots with the Giants, having spent 15 years in New York as a personnel executive from 1998 to 2012. From there, the accomplished talent evaluator was hired as general manager of the Panthers, serving four seasons in Carolina and helping to guide the team to a Super Bowl in 2015.
Brian Gutekunst, Green Bay Packers: The Packers promoted Gutekunst, their former director of player personnel, to the position of GM. Gutekunst is replacing the long time GM Ted Thompson. Earlier this month, Green Bay announced that Thompson was transitioning to the role as senior advisor to football operations.
The Steelers decided not to be on their sideline for the anthem last Sunday in Chicago, only to have offensive tackle and former Army Ranger Alejandro Villaneuva photographed at the front of a tunnel leading to the field, standing alone with his right hand over his heart. The Steelers tried to explain that their decision was not politically motivated. But do they really believe that their approach — two days after Trump used crass language in a speech at a campaign rally in Alabama to urge owners to fire any NFL player who protests by refusing to stand for the anthem — could be separated from politics?
Trump shows no inclination to let this go anytime soon. As he left the White House on Wednesday afternoon for a trip to Indianapolis to talk about tax reform, he stopped on the way to Marine One to answer questions from reporters, including on the NFL.