NEW YORK—In response to President Trump’s remarks in Alabama today regarding protests among NFL athletes, including calling for the NFL to fire those who kneel during the national anthem,  PEN America executive director Suzanne Nossel released the following statement:

“The President is way out of bounds when he calls for athletes to be fired for acts of protected speech. Playing professional sports has never required forfeiting your First Amendment rights. Whether or not we agree with their message of protest, we need to stand—and kneel—alongside players who are entitled to speak their minds without being threatened by their President.”


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

CONTACT: Sarah Edkins Lien, Director of Communications, [email protected], +1 646-779-4830