President Donald Trump addressed the decision by the NFL to require players to stand for the national anthem, saying it was a good move on the part of team owners and that if you didn’t want to stand it might be best if you left the United States altogether.
“I think that’s good,” Trump said of the new NFL guidelines during an interview with “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade Thursday. “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. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem.”
Kilmeade did not press Trump on which country kneeling NFL players — who are mostly U.S. citizens — might go as an alternative to the United States.
While President Trump has largely eschewed the mainstream media, he has been a frequent presence on Fox News. Trump’s appearance on “Fox & Friends” was his second in a few weeks. Last month, he dialed into the show from the White House for a 30-minute marathon call which left the show’s three co-hosts speechless for several long stretches.
On Wednesday, the NFL aimed to put the controversial kneeling episode behind them by releasing new guidelines for player behavior. The league now requires NFL players to stand for the anthem or face a fine.
“All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and Anthem,” reads the new rules “A club will be fined by the league if its personnel are on the field and so not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.”
Any players wishing to kneel will be allowed to remain in the locker room during the anthem.
The compromise was met with skepticism almost immediately, with The National Football League Players Association issuing their own statement warning that they were prepared to challenge anything they found objectionable.
“The NFL chose not to consult the union in the development of this now ‘policy,'” the NFLPA said. “Our union will review the new ‘policy’ and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.”