U.S. President Donald Trump says NFL owners ''should do something'' about the players who are taking a knee during the National Anthem before the games, saying ''it's very disrepectful to our country'' and ''very, very disrespectful to our flag.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. President Donald Trump doubled down on Sunday (September 24) on his criticisms of National Football League players who sat out, knelt and linked arms during pre-game national anthems, calling it "very disrepectful" to the flag and to the country. Dozens of players and coaches of teams including the Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins did not stand for the anthem during their games on Sunday and took a knee, a gesture that began last year as a protest over police treatment of African-Americans and other minorities. "I think it's very disrespectful to our flag and our country, so I certainly think the owners should do something about it," Trump told reporters on Sunday as he left Morristown, New Jersey, to return to the White House. Trump made a series of comments over the weekend criticizing players who refuse to stand for the national anthem. "If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast," Trump wrote on Sunday morning on Twitter. "Fire or suspend!" In another tweet, Trump, who is spending the weekend at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, said that the "league should back" fans who are upset about the protests. The form of protest began in 2016 when then San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick put one knee to the ground during pre-game renditions of the "Star Spangled Banner." Several players have since made similar gestures. At a political rally on Friday in support of his favored Senate candidate in a special election in Alabama, Trump suggested any protesting football player was a "son of a bitch" and should lose his job.