— -- For most NFL watchers, “soft” is unlikely the first word that comes to mind. Not so for Donald Trump.
At a presidential campaign event in Reno, Nevada, Sunday, the Republican front-runner set his sights on a new target: the NFL.
"Football's become soft. Football has become soft,” Trump declared. “Football has become soft like our country has become soft.”
Trump took particular issue with the way the games are officiated. He suggested that NFL referees make unnecessary penalty calls, saying they “throw flags so their wife sees them at home.”
"What used to be considered a great tackle; violent head-on. You used to see these tackles, and it was incredible to watch," Trump said. "Now they tackle -- 'Oh, head-on-head collision, 15 yard [penalty]' -- the whole game is all screwed up. You say, 'Wow, what a tackle.' Bing. Flag.”
Without the “violent, head-on” tackles, Trump, 69, said that the game has become “boring.”
“Who the hell wants to watch these crummy games?” the New York real estate mogul asked. “I just want to watch the end.”
Trump was quick to assure his audience that his ire does not reflect on one specific player: Tom Brady.
“I do love Tom. He’s a great guy,” Trump said of the New England Patriots quarterback.
The two are longtime friends, and Brady was spotted with a signature Trump “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker. But the football star has noted that he is not officially supporting any candidate at this time.