Apparently you mis-read my post, or I wasn’t clear. I wasn’t saying Trump should NOT have reacted. I just think he responded in a way that plays the game on the opponent’s field. He should have ridiculed them. Or he should have challenged them, in some way defining the impetus of the protests in a light that is unfavorable to the players.
I mentioned already how he could have re-tweeted a picture and captioned it in a way that would have made them stop, nearly immediately (”players bowing their heads and kneeling in reverence”). He could have also gone back to the guy who started it, who apparently has a love-affair with communist dictators: “Why are all of these players going all in with a communist sympathizer?”. Or kick the legs out of the BLM false-charge that police and/or republicans are racists. Or that police are targeting blacks. They’re all demonstrably false.
In other words, ask: “What are these spoiled millionaires protesting”?, then pivot back to his core appeal and message: “While these cry-babies protest and dishonor our nation, millions upon millions of hard working Americans, of all races, genders, and backgrounds, are shelling out their precious & hard-earned money, that enable these guys to play a game for a living. And for what? Lie, upon lie, upon lie. They’re dividing, not uniting our country.”
Trump reacted exactly as they expected him to react, and they’re now playing their next card and painting him and all Republicans as racists - specifically because the way he reacted enabled them to.