New York GOP lawmaker lashes out at Jets owner for offering to pay fine for kneeling players

New York GOP lawmaker lashes out at Jets owner for offering to pay fine for kneeling players
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Rep. Pete KingPeter (Pete) Thomas KingWashington big names celebrate launch of Hill.TV The Hill's Morning Report — Trump denigrates NATO allies, floats 4 percent solution ‘Unmasking Antifa Act' includes 15-year prison term proposal MORE (R-N.Y.) lashed out at New York Jets chairman and acting owner Christopher Johnson for saying he would pay fines for players who continued to kneel during the national anthem despite the NFL's new ban on such protests.

In a tweet, King called Johnson’s move “disgraceful” and declared that it was “time to say goodbye” to the Jets.

“Disgraceful that @nyjets owner will pay fines for players who kneel for National Anthem,” King tweeted. “Encouraging a movement premised on lies vs. police. Would he support all player protests? Would he pay fines of players giving Nazi salutes or spew racism? It’s time to say goodbye to Jets!”

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Johnson said Wednesday that he would pay the fines for players who protest during the anthem. The NFL’s new policy, announced Wednesday, states that players must “stand and show respect” for the national anthem, and that teams can be fined if players continue to kneel on the field. Teams have the option of remaining in their locker rooms under the new policy.

Many current and former NFL players have harshly criticized the ban, saying that it infringes on players’ First Amendment rights, and that team owners did not consult with players before passing it.

The ban comes after a season of attacks from President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE and other conservatives on the league in response to players kneeling during the anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality.

Johnson’s brother, Woody Johnson, owns the Jets team and has been on leave since President Trump tapped him as the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom.