Trump Says That NFL Players Who Kneel "Shouldn't Be In The Country"

Arnold Nichols
May 25, 2018

This comes as no surprise, considering that Trump weighed in on the issue repeatedly a year ago in speeches and in social media, at one point even calling the protesting players "sons of bitches".

President Donald Trump endorsed the NFL's move to ban players from protesting the national anthem, telling Fox News Channel that athletes taking a knee in protest perhaps "shouldn't be in the country".

Players began kneeling during the Stars and Stripes during 2016 in protest at police brutality and racial inequality. Players who do not wish to stand must remain in the locker room for the duration of the anthem.

NFL players unwilling to stand for the national anthem should be barred from playing and maybe "shouldn't be in the country", President Trump said in a television interview that aired Thursday.

Talking to Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade, The President of the United States discussed the NFL's new policy of fining players who refuse to stand for the national anthem on the field.


The interview was aired a day after the National Football League said clubs will be fined if players kneel for the Star-Spangled Banner. The league has not said how much in fines teams will face, or explicitly defined the term "respect", though commissioner Roger Goodell said in a press conference that the league wanted "people to stand". "Maybe they shouldn't be in the country". Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room until after the anthem has been performed. "I brought it out".

One team owner told Breer that Trump's name came up a few times but never for an extended discussion, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones explained Trump's involvement in a similar way.

"This is fear of a diminished bottom line", wrote Chris Long.

After a season filled with controversy over players protesting peacefully by locking arms, kneeling or skipping the national anthem on the field, Trump lauded the NFL's decision to fine teams for players who might choose to continue their dissent this season. It's also fear of a president turning his base against a corporation.

Both are Republicans, although it's unclear whether their objections to the kneeling are rooted in their "partisan political affiliation", given that Mr. Kaepernick hasn't framed his protest as anti-Republican and isn't known as a member of the Democratic Party or any other political party.

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