Trump: Fans who booed kneeling NFL players are demanding 'respect for our Flag'

Trump: Fans who booed kneeling NFL players are demanding 'respect for our Flag'
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President Trump said Monday that fans who booed NFL players who refused to stand during the national anthem were demanding respect for the country's flag.

"Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday (which was a small percentage of total)," Trump tweeted.

"These are fans who demand respect for our Flag!"

Trump also said Monday that the issue centers on respect for the country, flag and national anthem instead of race. 

"The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race," Trump tweeted. "It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!"

 

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Many NFL players on Sunday knelt during the national anthem, while others linked arms with their teammates in shows of solidarity.

Trump last week attacked players who kneel during the national anthem.

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired,' " Trump said during an Alabama rally on Friday.

On Sunday, Trump ramped up his criticism of NFL players.

“If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast,” he tweeted. “Fire or suspend!”

He also tweeted Sunday that sports fans shouldn't "condone players" that don't stand during the national anthem and called for the NFL to change its policy.

The president later wrote "#StandForOurAnthem" in a stand-alone tweet before retweeting an account that praised former NFL player Pat Tillman in a call for an NFL boycott.

"NFLplayer PatTillman joined U.S. Army in 2002. He was killed in action 2004. He fought 4our country/freedom. #StandForOurAnthem#BoycottNFL," the account wrote.

 

Tillman was an Army Ranger who was killed in Afghanistan in 2004 in a friendly fire incident

Team owners and players have spoken out against Trump's comments, calling them divisive and disappointing.

Mallory Shelbourne contributed