Trump credited the fans for pushing the National Football League, while blasting players who don't stand and even suggesting they shouldn't be in the country.
Donald Trump took time away from his busy schedule unearthing witch hunts and catching phantom spies to weigh in on another story he believe has national security implications. The policy forbids players from sitting or taking a knee on the field during the anthem but allows them to stay in the locker room.
Even if you disagree with the kneeling players' stance, or method of protest, it's possible to defend their right to do so.
Trump criticized any of the league's players who might challenge the rule and continue to kneel in protest, suggesting "maybe you shouldn't be in the country".
"I think the [American] people pushed it forward". "I brought it out".
In an interview with Fox and Friends on Thursday, Trump said the "NFL owners did the right thing". "We're very smart people".
Responding to the decision Wednesday, the president of the NFL Players Union, which represents current and former players, said in a statement, "The balance between the rights of every citizen in our great country gets crossed when someone is told to just 'shut up and play'". CEO Christopher Johnson told Newsday. Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room until after the anthem has been performed.
"I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players", he said.
'We've done a lot of work on the wall. Any violations of the new rules would result in fines against teams.
Johnson is the brother of Woody Johnson, who is now serving at the USA ambassador to the United Kingdom in the Trump administration.
On Twitter, a player for the Philadelphia Eagles - which won the Super Bowl last February - accused the league of only caring about its finances.