Trump: If NFL had suspended Kaepernick we wouldn’t have 'a problem'

Trump: If NFL had suspended Kaepernick we wouldn’t have 'a problem'
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President Trump said in an interview scheduled to air Wednesday night that the current controversy over protests in the NFL would not be “a problem” had the NFL originally suspended Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem.

“I watched Colin Kaepernick and I thought it was terrible. And then it got bigger and bigger and started mushrooming. And frankly the NFL should have suspended him for one game and he would have never done it again,” Trump told Fox News’ “Hannity.”

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“They could have then suspended him for two games and they could have suspended him again if he did it a third time, for the season, and you would never have had a problem," he said. "But I will tell you — you cannot disrespect our country, our flag, our anthem, you cannot do that.”

The comments from the president are his latest response to a controversy that has stretched over several weeks since Trump first suggested NFL owners fire players who choose to kneel, rather than stand, during the national anthem.

Trump has argued that kneeling, which Kaepernick did several times in 2016 as a form of protest against racial injustice, is disrespectful to the United States and its flag.

The NFL said Wednesday that it has not changed its policy about the national anthem, but will discuss the topic at next week’s League meetings.

The White House said this week it would support a rule requiring players to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”