The NFL is facing backlash after announcing a new policy that would fine any team if players kneel during the national anthem.
In response to the seemingly never-ending controversy about players kneeling during the national anthem at the beginning of games as a form of protest, the NFL created a compromise. He said it was unanimously approved by National Football League owners, but that was immediately called into question when the head of the San Francisco 49ers - Kaepernick's former team, no less - said he abstained from the vote.
However, players that are on the field during the national anthem are required to stand. Teams can be fined for players that do not follow this policy. "I don't think people should be staying in locker rooms but still I think it's good", Trump told Fox News in an interview taped on Wednesday and broadcast on Thursday.
Even if you disagree with the kneeling players' stance, or method of protest, it's possible to defend their right to do so. I'm someone who's always looked at the anthem as a declaration of ideals, including the right to peaceful protest. "I think it's the right thing to do".
Last year Trump described players who kneeled during the anthem to draw attention to racial injustice as "sons of bitches" who were insulting the flag and the nation. "This country is very smart".
"The policy adopted today was approved in concert with the NFL's ongoing commitment to local communities and our country - one that is extraordinary in its scope, resources, and alignment with our players".
NAACP President and Chief Executive Officer Derrick Johnson called on the league to rescind the policy and said team owners must not "fold" to the Trump administration by denying players the ability to raise questions around aggressive policing. "I brought it out".
Several players, a lot of them black, have kneeled for the anthem since Colin Kaepernick declined to stand for it in 2016 as a way to protest police brutality and racism. "I know it's a touchy subject, but I feel confident we'll do it together".
After the NFL rule change, Trump took no credit for the league's rebuke of the player protests, saying, "this was not me".
"It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of National Football League players were unpatriotic. This country is very smart, we have very smart people".
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