Earlier this week, NFL owners passed new rules that would require players to stand for the national anthem if they are on the field. The rules do give players the option of staying in the locker room during the playing of the anthem. Teams could be subject to fines if any of their players do not “show respect” during the Star Spangled Banner. That would, of course, include sitting or kneeling.
During an interview with Fox and Friends’ Brian Kilmeade that aired Thursday morning, President Donald Trump weighed in on the issue. And considering that this was a topic that the president made into a huge national controversy, he had some opinions — including possible deportation for protesting players.
“Some breaking news when you were in there — the NFL’s made a decision that means a lot to you and a lot of other Americans,” Kilmeade noted. “The NFL owners have voted unanimously to approve a new National Anthem rule that says if you’re not going to stand, stay in the locker room. If you go to the field, you have to stand. If you have a protest, your team is going to get fined. This is the first time you’re hearing this. What’s your reaction Mr. President?”
“Well, I think that’s good,” the president responded. “I don’t think people should be staying in the locker rooms, but still I think it’s good. you have to stand proudly for the National Anthem.”
Trump continued, “You shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe they shouldn’t be in the country. You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem and the NFL owners did the right thing with that if that’s what they’ve done.”
Kilmeade went on to ask the president if he felt responsible for the NFL pushing forward new rules that will punish players for protesting police brutality and racial injustice prior to games.
“I think the people pushed it forward — this was not me,” POTUS replied. “I brought it out. I think the people pushed it forward. This country is very smart; we have very smart people and, you know, that’s something ideally could have been taken care of when it first started, it would have been a lot easier, but if they did that, they did the right thing.”
Watch the clip below.
Trump suggests he'd like to deport NFL players who demonstrate during the national anthem: "You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn't be playing. You shouldn't be there. Maybe you shouldn't be in the country." pic.twitter.com/ps4Do9qQWp
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 24, 2018