Donald Trump appeared on state news program FOX & Friends on Thursday morning and discussed the national anthem following news that the NFL has bended to his will and players must now stand for the national anthem.
Said Trump: “I think that’s good, I don’t think people should be staying in locker rooms … You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there — maybe you shouldn’t be in the country … You have to stand proudly for the national anthem, and the NFL owners did the right thing if that’s what they’ve done.”
— Axios (@axios) May 24, 2018
The policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other team personnel do not show respect for the anthem. That includes any attempt to sit or kneel, as dozens of players have done during the past two seasons to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Those teams also will have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction.
Players are given the option to remain in the locker room if they choose.
The rules, which stipulate that the league could fine teams for players who don’t follow the guideline on the field, are a concession to some of the league’s owners, fans, and of course, President Trump, who say they believe that players should stand instead of kneeling during the anthem. And it is seen as a rebuke of the many players who made the silent protest of police brutality such a flash point of the league last season.
But it also seems to leave room for players to continue their protest as long as they are off the field, a detail perhaps that will upset some of the most fervent members of the Trump cohort.
Statement from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell pic.twitter.com/1Vn7orTo1R
— NFL (@NFL) May 23, 2018