The National Football League finally put their foot down on national anthem protests and implemented a new rule requiring players to either stand respectfully or remain in the locker room until the anthem is finished, or risk a team fine if they protest on the field.
President Donald Trump responded to the new rule as a “good thing” and echoed the sentiment of many patriotic Americans when he wondered why those who refuse to stand in honor of this great nation are even living in the country at all.
According to The Hill, Trump’s remarks in response to the NFL’s new national anthem rule came during an interview aired Thursday on “Fox & Friends.”
"You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem. You shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there. Maybe they shouldn't be in the country…the NFL owners did the right thing" -President @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/bt36t4EX5u
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) May 24, 2018
“I think that’s good. I don’t think people should be staying in the locker rooms, but still, I think it’s good,” Trump said of the new rule. “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,” he added. “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem and the NFL owners did the right thing.”
The president was asked if he thought he had played a key role in the push to this conclusion, but he demurred and instead credited the fans and American people for the change.
“I think the people pushed it forward, this was not me,” stated Trump. “I brought it out, but I think the people pushed it forward.”
He added that he believed the situation could have been handled easier when it first started, but was nonetheless pleased that the league was finally “doing the right thing.”
Vice President Mike Pence took to Twitter to signify his approval of the move made by the NFL, which he called “a win for the fans, a win for (President Trump), and a win for America.”
Today’s decision by the @NFL is a win for the fans, a win for @POTUS, and a win for America. Americans can once again come together around what unites us – our flag, our military, and our National Anthem. Thank you NFL. #ProudToStand pic.twitter.com/zNwxhYGNaN
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) May 23, 2018
Trump was right that while he may have helped shine light on the issue, this change from the NFL was really brought about by pressure from the American people. He was also right to wonder aloud — as so many others have — why those who refuse to stand in honor of the nation and flag still choose to live in this country, if they dislike it so much.