San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem to shed light on racial injustice. His actions have spread across the NFL as other players are showing signs of support. Nicole L. Cvetnic McClatchy
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem to shed light on racial injustice. His actions have spread across the NFL as other players are showing signs of support. Nicole L. Cvetnic McClatchy

Government & Politics

Trump: NFL should fire any ‘son of a b----’ who doesn’t stand for the national anthem

September 22, 2017 11:01 PM

President Donald Trump criticized the NFL and players who don’t stand for the American flag on Friday at rally for Alabama Republican Senate candidate Luther Strange.

“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,’” Trump said. “‘He is fired.’”

Many on social media viewed this as a thinly veiled shot at former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who protested racial issues in the U.S. in 2016 by remaining seated or kneeling during the national anthem.

Pres says would like to see some NFL owner tell player who doesn't respect the flag, "Get that son-of-a-bitch off the field. He’s fired." pic.twitter.com/iXujXcl8X1

— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) September 23, 2017

Why are you even bringing up Kaepernick's name at a political rally in Alabama?



Never mind. I know the answer.

— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) September 23, 2017

Does anyone tell trump to stick to politics, like they tell us to stick to sports? Smh.

— Eric Ebron (@Ebron85) September 23, 2017

Trump on white supremacist rally marchers: "Very fine people"



Trump on NFL anthem protesters: "Son of a bitch" https://t.co/uCyb0q0V0h

— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) September 23, 2017

Trump also condemned the NFL for “ruining the game” by removing players who “get hit too hard.” Some have viewed that as a reference to long-term injuries some players in the NFL have sustained, and recent studies on degenerative brain disease those injuries can lead to.

Trump is complaining there's been too much attention on degenerative brain diseases in the NFL. "They're ruining the game" pic.twitter.com/0MGCs7dNwL

— Brandon Wall (@Walldo) September 23, 2017

Trump supporters in the crowd cheered at his suggestion that the NFL fire players who don’t kneel during the anthem. Buzzfeed News interviewed several attendees afterwards to gauge their reaction.

“I support that,” Trump supporter Dee Reed told BuzzFeed News at the rally. “I think they should, I think there ought to be repercussions for that.”

Dewayne McDougal also attended the rally, and told BuzzFeed he agreed with Trump’s idea to fire players who he says are disrespecting the flag.

“A lot of men died for our flag,” McDougal said. “And when you kneel for the flag, that’s disrespectful. If I owned a football team, they kneeled, they would be gone. There wouldn’t be no doubt. And there wouldn’t be no union to stop me.”

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