President Trump said the National Football League (NFL) should have suspended quarterback Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem.
“The NFL should have suspended him for one game and he would have never done it again,” he told Fox News' Sean Hannity Wednesday.
“They could have then suspended him for two games and they could have suspended him again if he did it a third time, for the season, and you would never have had a problem,” Trump added.
“I will tell you, you cannot disrespect our country, our flag, our anthem, you cannot do that.”
Some Twitter users on Thursday agreed with Trump, while others defended Kaepernick’s right to protest.
President Donald Trump is 100% Right about what he said about Colin Kaepernick— Darren. Cherwonuk (@CherwonukDarren) October 12, 2017
Donald Trump, a man of no principles, clearly doesn't understand how principled Colin Kaepernick is. Suspensions wouldn't have deterred Kap.— Adam Best (@adamcbest) October 12, 2017
Trump’s remarks are his latest attack on the NFL as the league deals with recurring protests during the national anthem.
Scores of NFL coaches, executives and players have knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner” since Trump said the organization should fire people who do so last month.
The NFL said Wednesday that it has not changed its policy about the national anthem, adding that the subject will be discussed in next week’s league meetings.
Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 as a demonstration against America’s racial injustice.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is now a free agent, with no other NFL team yet willing to sign him.
Trump has argued that kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful of the U.S., its flag and its military.
Kaepernick and his imitators have countered that the gesture is a valid expression of free speech calling for needed social justice.
We asked veterans how they really feel about the NFL anthem protests.