MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP/WWJ) — President Donald Trump says NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he’s encouraging spectators to walk out in protest.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when someone disrespects our flags to say, `Get that son of a bitch off the field right now! Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!” Trump said during a rally for Sen. Luther Strange in Alabama.
He’s also bemoaning that football games have become less violent, complaining, “They’re ruining the game.”
Several athletes, including NFL players, have been refusing to stand during the national anthem as a protest of the treatment of blacks by police. Colin Kaepernick began the protest last year when he was playing for the San Francisco 49ers, and other players have followed him, especially this season.
But Trump says those players are disrespecting the flag, American heritage and what the country stands for.
He says their behavior is driving away viewers and says spectators who witness such protests should “pick up and leave.”
Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron — along with a number of other NFL players — went to Twitter in response to Trump’s comments on players kneeling during the national anthem.
It’ll be interesting to see if even more players decide to protest the national anthem this week after Trump’s controversial comments.
© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.