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Biden spotlights Trumps attacks on NFL and football with battleground state ad blitz

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(WASHINGTON) — As the NFL draft kicks off this week, President Joe Biden’s campaign is launching a new digital ad on Thursday taking aim at former President Donald Trump’s past comments disparaging football and the league, the Biden campaign told ABC News.

The short, 20-second ad, on YouTube, features a montage of Trump previously attacking football, calling it “boring as hell” and saying “nobody cares about football,” juxtaposed with Biden greeting and touting his relationship with football players.

The ad — the latest skirmish in the early part of Biden’s general election fight against Trump, which is expected to be close — ends with the message: “Make the right pick in November.”

The ad plays into the longstanding feud between the NFL and Trump, who had once owned rival United States Football League team the New Jersey Generals in the 1980s and reportedly tried to buy the Buffalo Bills in 2014 but was unsuccessful after investors doubted the NFL would allow it.

Trump has repeated attacks on football and more specifically the NFL over the years, including during his presidency when he railed against NFL players who kneeled during the national anthem as part of a protest against systematic bias against people of color.

However, Trump has had close ties to some notable figures in football, including quarterback Tom Brady and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

He has also frequented tailgates and college football games on the campaign trail, including attending the famed University of Iowa Hawkeyes versus Iowa State University Cyclones game and the Palmetto Bowl between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Clemson University Tigers last year as the Republican Party’s Iowa caucuses and the South Carolina primary were heating up.

According to the Biden campaign, the new ad will target football fans across battleground states including in Green Bay, Wisconsin; in Detroit; in Phoenix; and in Pittsburgh. The ad will also air in Atlanta, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Las Vegas.

Second gentleman Douglas Emhoff, who is attending the NFL draft in Michigan on Thursday night, claimed in a statement that while the rest of the country will be celebrating football, Trump will be “sitting on the sidelines trying to make tonight about himself, rage-posting on his failing social media platform and spewing his extreme, divisive, and historically unpopular agenda.”

The first clip used in the ad shows Trump at a rally in Henderson, Nevada, on the first Sunday of the 2020 NFL season, where the then-president urged the audience to sit down and get comfortable before stating they had plenty of time as “football is boring as hell.”

He added: “Used to be people would say, ‘Hey, could you keep it away from, from a football game?’ Now they say, ‘Could you possibly do it during a football game?"”

In the second clip, from a 2020 rally in Nevada’s capital, Carson City, Trump said, “Nobody cares about football. They ought to get smart because they can’t win this war. We want people that love our country.”

Trump has repeatedly disparaged NFL players kneeling over the years, claiming they’ve gotten too “soft” and calling for them to be suspended.

“The NFL players are at it again – taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem,” Trump wrote on X, then called Twitter, in 2018. “Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their “outrage” at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love.”

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