Trump spoke with reporters at Joint Base Andrews on Wednesday and was asked about NFL players First Amendment right to kneel during the national anthem after he supported the right to protest of those who marched in Charlottesville, Virg. this summer.
Trump reiterated his position on the matter, saying the NFL is “in a very bad box.”
When asked if he opposed the First Amendment, Trump said, “Not at all, no. We have to respect our national anthem and our country. They’re not respecting our country. And most importantly, the fans agree with me. Largely, the fans agree.”
Trump went even further by saying, “We have to show total respect for our national anthem, four our flag, for our country. We have to do it.”
The president did suggest he’s not against the players protesting, but the time and manner of the protest.
“There are plenty of places and personally, when they’re protesting during a football game, I think they can find better places but they cannot do it during the national anthem,” he said.
NFL teams have responded in various ways to Trump’s obsession and calling out players who kneel during the national anthem. However, the Dallas Cowboys knelt for a moment as a team prior to the anthem being played for which they then all stood and Trump still expressed displeasure.
Trump’s latest comments indicate he believes the protest is inappropriate at any time before, during and after the game but, particularly, during the anthem.