New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) called the NFL's new policy requiring players to stand for the national anthem "un-American" on Thursday. 

"Un-American. Just plain un-American," de Blasio said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"It doesn't make sense. You know, we would not tolerate it if any other employer said that their employees cannot express their beliefs. You know, right away you'd say violation of the First Amendment," he continued. 


"I don't understand why the owners think they can get away from this in any way, shape or form. But what they're doing ultimately is simply bringing more attention to the cause of players, who are saying there's an injustice that has to be addressed," he said. 

The NFL on Wednesday announced a new policy aimed at outlawing kneeling during the national anthem at games. Teams will be fined if their players disobey the new rules.

"We believe today's decision will keep our focus on the game and the extraordinary athletes who play it — and on our fans who enjoy it," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill MORE, who has railed against players kneeling during the national anthem, praised the NFL's ruling on Thursday and suggested that players who kneel during the anthem do not belong in the country. 

"I think that’s good. I don’t think people should be staying in the locker rooms, but still, I think it’s good. you have to stand proudly for the national anthem," Trump said.

"You shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe they shouldn’t be in the country," he added.