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Trump hosts the Super Bowl champion Patriots at the White House. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

The Sunday morning conversation surrounding President Trump's criticism of football protesters and basketball stars.

  • NFL's Joe Lockhart tweets: "Tens of millions of Americans, and fans around the world, will come together today to celebrate our great game and our great country."
  • The Atlantic's Ron Brownstein, on CNN: Trump "has appealed, from the beginning, to the elements of white America that are most uneasy about racial and demographic change."
  • NYT "Sports of the Times" columnist Michael Powell, "As Trump Takes On Athletes, Watch Them Rise": "Just as the president lays his hand on the third rail of race, the athletes are responding. ... What's notable is how measured the athletes have tried to remain, until poked and prodded."
  • "NFL owners speak out in support of players, against Trump," by AP: "The Buffalo Bills were bothered enough ... to hold a voluntary team meeting ... with players, coaches, staff and ownership. ... At least seven team owners donated $1 million each to Trump's inaugural committee."
  • NBA Commissioner Adam Silver statement: "I am proud of our players for taking an active role in their communities and continuing to speak out on critically important issues."
  • National Review deputy managing editor Nicholas Frankovich: "[W]hile peevishness and carping are effete, magnanimity is manly and disarming. Manliness is a much derided concept these days ... Some men aspire to it but bluster, miss the mark, and end up being catty instead. It's called Twitter. In contrast, competition on the court can still be uplifting."
  • BBC headline: "NFL row ... Sports stars round on Trump."
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Go deeper

4 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dems fear supply-chain blame

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As supply-chain kinks drive up prices and disrupt holiday shopping, Democrats are scrambling to show action and deflect blame.

Why it matters: With their party controlling both the White House and Capitol, vulnerable Democrats worry supply-chain snafus will hurt them in next year's midterms.

6 hours ago - World

Scoop: Germany urges Congress not to sanction Putin’s pipeline

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The German government has urged members of Congress not to sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, arguing that doing so will "weaken" U.S. credibility and "ultimately damage transatlantic unity," according to documents obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: At a time when roughly 100,000 Russian troops are massing at its border, Ukraine views Nord Stream 2 as an existential threat to its security. The pipeline would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion.

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