Trump says NFL athletes haven't suggested anyone for him to pardon yet

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE said on Friday that he hasn't received any pardon suggestions from NFL players, despite offering to meet with those who kneel during the national anthem so they can recommend possible candidates for clemency.

Asked by "Fox & Friends" co-host Steve Doocy in an interview whether he had heard from professional athletes about potential pardons, Trump replied that he hadn't. 

"No, I haven't. They are all saying it has nothing to do with the flag. It’s the way we’ve been treated," he said, referring to the national anthem protests. "In the meantime, they’re making $15 million a year."

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Trump has carried on a lengthy feud with various professional athletes, primarily in the NFL, demanding that they be required to stand for the national anthem. 

Trump's criticism came in response to protests that began in 2016 with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt during "The Star-Spangled Banner" to protest racial inequality and police brutality. 

The president, however, has insisted that the protests are being disrespectful towards U.S. military service members and veterans. He elevated the controversy in September when he called for NFL team owners and coaches to fire players that participated in the protests. 

The league announced a new policy last month requiring players to stand for the anthem or remain in their locker rooms, if they so choose.

Trump has issued a number of pardons since taking office, many of which came at the urgings of high-profile figures and celebrities. Most recently, he commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a 65-year-old woman who was serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense, after meeting with reality TV star Kim Kardashian West about her case.

Trump said last week that he is willing to talk to professional athletes who protest during the anthem about individuals they think should be eligible for clemency. 

"I'm going to ask them to recommend to me people who were unfairly treated," Trump said.