President Donald Trump said in an interview with "Fox and Friends" that football players in the National Football League (NFL) who take a knee during the national anthem "maybe" should not be in the United States.
"I don't think people should be staying in locker rooms. But still, I think it's good," Trump said in the interview with "Fox and Friends." "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."
Before the interview, the hosts of "Fox and Friends" said their conversation with Trump took place Wednesday, just minutes after the new NFL policy regarding players who kneel was publicly announced.
Trump told "Fox and Friends" that NFL owners "did the right thing."
In the interview with Fox, Trump took credit for creating the issue, but said “the people” were the ones who “pushed it forward.”
The new NFL policy states that all players and officials on the field must stand during the national anthem, or choose to stay in the locker room while the song is played.
Any team that allows players to kneel on the field could face fines.
Controversy over NFL players who kneel during “The Star Spangled Banner” started in 2016, when former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand in order to protest police brutality against minorities.
The protests grew, prompting Trump to call the kneeling “disgraceful” in statements during a joint press conference with the Spanish prime minister in 2017.
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