Anthem protesters 'maybe shouldn't be in country'

It's Official: No More National Anthem Kneeling in the NFL

It's Official: No More National Anthem Kneeling in the NFL

President Donald Trump, in praising the NFL's new policy against kneeling during the national anthem, suggested players who insist on doing so should be kicked out of the country.

Trump's blatant manipulation of "patriotism" to attack his perceived political enemies and foment his hard-right base is antithetical to our nation, which is built on free speech and the right to protest grievances against the government.

Under the new policy unveiled on Wednesday by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, teams will be fined if players on the field fail to stand during "The Star-Spangled Banner".

"You have to stand proudly for the national anthem, or you shouldn't be playing", the president said in response to a question about the NFL owners' vote to approve a national anthem rule that will request players stay in the locker room if they will not stand for the anthem. "Or you shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there, maybe you shouldn't be in the country".

"You shouldn't be there - maybe you shouldn't be in the country".

Judging by immediate reaction from the NFLPA, outspoken National Football League players on social media and even some of his fellow team owners, mission unaccomplished. Trump had said the league was "going to hell" unless they prohibited the behavior.

That is precisely the struggle prompting athletes to speak out - and yes, to kneel during the national anthem. "I think the people pushed it forward", Trump said.

"I talked to a former National Football League player yesterday who has said that players are already talking about other ways in which they can protest".

After the NFL rule change, Trump took no credit for the league's rebuke of the player protests, saying, "this was not me". "I brought it out".

That decision was immediately slammed by the NFL Players' Association. Do I prefer that they stand? The NFL, which is already dealing with concussion issues and troubling viewership trends, wants the president and fans to stop dwelling on the anthem.

The protests were started to call attention to police shootings against African Americans and other issues of racial inequities, but they have morphed into wider struggles in America's culture wars.

Johnson is the brother of Woody Johnson, who is now serving at the US ambassador to the United Kingdom in the Trump administration.

"You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem".

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News.

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