President Donald Trump asserted today that his criticism of players who kneel during the national anthem “has nothing to do with race.”
Rather, the president said the issue is “respect for our country, flag and national anthem.”
Trump appeared to be responding to critics who say his slam of players who kneel in protest is about race.
The president sparked the controversy at a rally Friday night when he declared that football team owners should fire players who kneel during the anthem.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say: ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now, out,'” the president said. in Huntsville, Alabama, before a largely white crowd.
The comments spurred a strong reaction by NFL players and owners, with many players kneeling or locking arms during the “Star-Spangled Banner” on Sunday as a rebuke to the president.
Kneeling during the anthem was started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the 2016 preseason, who said he was protesting against the treatment of blacks in the United States. Kaepernick is black.
The president on Monday continued hammering his argument that kneeling during the national anthem is unpatriotic.
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