Trump calls on NFL to ban kneeling during national anthem

Trump calls on NFL to ban kneeling during national anthem

President Trump is calling on the NFL to ban players from taking a knee during the national anthem. 

"The NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations," Trump tweeted Tuesday. "The only way out for them is to set a rule that you can't kneel during our National Anthem!"

The president touched off the feud on Friday during a rally in Huntsville, Ala., where he called for owners to fire players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

He doubled down on those comments on Saturday, saying that football players — and athletes more broadly — should be ousted from their teams and “find something else to do.”

Scores of professional athletes and sports executives have criticized the president's comments, arguing that the protests are an exercise of free speech.

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In a show of solidarity on Sunday, NFL players across the country either kneeled or linked arms during the national anthem at several games. Some teams, like the Pittsburgh Steelers, declined to go onto the field for the anthem altogether.

Trump has faced accusations by some that his comments about the NFL protests were racially motivated and took aim at African-American athletes, who have made up the vast majority of NFL players kneeling in protest before the national anthem.

The president denied those charges on Monday, arguing that his comments were simply about defending the American flag and the country against disrespect.

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