Trump Says NFL Owners' Anthem Protest Ban Doesn't Do Enough

President Donald Trump delivers remarks during the Susan B. Anthony List

President Donald Trump delivers remarks during the Susan B. Anthony List

Owners voted Wednesday to fine teams if their players don't stand for the national anthem while they are on the field.

Talking to Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade, The President of the United States discussed the NFL's new policy of fining players who refuse to stand for the national anthem on the field. Until today I believed that numerous owners I've met in the past to be good and decent people too. "I brought it out".

NFL players unwilling to stand for the national anthem should be barred from playing and maybe "shouldn't be in the country", President Trump said in a television interview that aired Thursday.

DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the National Football League players' union, tweeted that owners had "chosen to quash the same freedom of speech that protects someone who wants to salute the flag in an effort to prevent someone who does not wish to do so". "We're very smart people".

The union has said it would review the new rule and challenge any element it determined to be a violation of the collective bargaining agreement between owners and players.

Goodell and the owners can say their new policy is about patriotism, but it reads as a ban on black players telling the world about their experiences.

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A statement from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell regarding the new decision reads in part: "This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem". In turn, the clubs have room to penalize players, but Mara's co-tenant at MetLife Stadium, Jets' acting owner Christopher Johnson, said he won't fine players who protest.

"I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players".

"I understand where they're at".

On Twitter, a player for the Philadelphia Eagles - which won the Super Bowl last February - accused the league of only caring about its finances. "I know it's a touchy subject, but I feel confident we'll do it together". It's also fear of a president turning his base against a corporation. Don't get it confused. We urge new Panthers owner David Tepper to make the same kind of stand - both with his players and for the social justice that's far more important than an anthem. Also, how the fans will react, how the media will react. By instituting a policy yesterday to punish players who exercise their right of free expression by kneeling, the league is rejecting a basic American value.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News.

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