President Trump says that National Football League (NFL) owners are “afraid” of their players amid ongoing protests during the national anthem sweeping the organization.
“I have so many friends that are owners,” he said during a Fox News interview broadcast Thursday. “And they’re in a box.”
“I mean, I’ve spoken to a couple of them, they say, ‘We’re in a position where we have to do something,’” Trump added. “I think they’re afraid of their players, you want to know the truth. It’s disgraceful.”
“They have rules for everything. You can’t dance in the endzone, you can’t wear the pink socks relative to breast cancer, they have rules for everything. Why aren’t they honoring this county by enforcing a rule that’s been in existence for a long time?”
Some Twitter users on Thursday reacted to Trump’s latest remarks about the NFL’s ongoing struggles with national anthem demonstrations.
Donald Trump really cares more about the NFL players kneeling than Puerto Rico. Let that sink in...— Chef Sal the Wise (@djlewis725) September 28, 2017
I just don’t get how Donald Trump is STILL talking about the NFL when their people in PR still stranded lIke 🤔— Toya (@latoyaHaynes1) September 28, 2017
Trump also said that NFL owners must quickly choose between backing their protesting players or alienating the league’s fans.
“They’ve got to be tough, and they’ve got to be smart,” he said on “Fox and Friends.” “Because you look at the ratings, the ratings are going way down.”
“Stadiums are, I’ve seen a couple of stadiums over the last few weeks,” Trump continued. “There are a lot of empty seats. I couldn’t even believe it.”
“But when it comes to the respect of our nation, when it comes to the respect of our anthem and our flag, they have no choice.”
Multiple NFL coaches, executives and players have knelt during the national anthem since Trump denounced the move last week.
Trump urged the NFL to fire players who perform the controversial gesture during a rally in Huntsville, Alabama last Friday.
Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick first knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 2016 to protest America’s racial injustice.
Critics argue that the display is unpatriotic, while supporters contend it is an important expression of free speech.
We asked veterans how they really feel about the NFL anthem protests.
Josh Norman of the Washington Redskins said Trump "is not welcome here in Washington, D.C."