The National Football League announced their new policy for the national anthem yesterday after months of discussion and speculation. The policy requires players and team personnel to stand if they are on the field during the anthem or face the possibilities of fines for their team and potential punishment from their clubs.
There were plenty of reactions from players around the league, but the reaction many were waiting for was from President Donald Trump. In an appearance Thursday morning on Fox & Friends, the president said that the league is doing the right thing with its new policy on the anthem. He then continued:
“I think that’s good,” Trump said in the interview that taped Wednesday. “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. Or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”
The president criticized the NFL for allowing players to protest during a political rally in Huntsville, Alabama in September of last year. Immediately following that speech in Alabama, there were mass demonstrations from players and owners alike across the league in a “show of unity”. Despite that, the president said later in the interview with Fox & Friends that he didn’t push for the policy, the “people” did.
“This wasn’t me,” Trump said. “I brought it out. I think the people pushed it forward.
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.”