CHICAGO (CBS) — Only two weeks after suggesting NFL players who have protested racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem should be deported, President Trump on Friday said he wants to ask those same athletes to recommend people who should be pardoned.
“I’m going to ask them to recommend to me people who were unfairly treated,” Trump said at the White House Friday.READ MORE: Pfizer Says COVID-19 Vaccine More Than 90% Effective At Protecting Kids
“You have a lot of people in the NFL in particular, but in sports leagues, they’re not proud enough to stand for our National Anthem. I don’t like that,” Trump said Friday as he was preparing to leave the White House for the G-7 summit in Canada.
The president also said players should not stay in the locker room when the national anthem is being played on the field.
“What I’m going to do is, I’m going to say to them instead of talk … I am going to ask all of those people to recommend to me — because that’s what they’re protesting — people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system,” Trump said. “I understand that.”
Two weeks ago, Trump praised NFL owners for doing the “right thing” by requiring players and staff to stand during the national anthem if they are on the field. He also suggested those who don’t stand maybe “shouldn’t be in the country.”
“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,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News on May 24.READ MORE: Suburban School Cafeteria Worker Turned Into A TikTok Star With Lunch Break Videos During The Pandemic; ‘People Like To Watch People Eat’
The president also previously has said players who kneel during the anthem should be fired.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!” he said at a rally in Alabama last September.
Earlier this week, the president cancelled a White House visit by the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, after learning most of the players would not attend. The president blamed a disagreement over the anthem.
“They disagree with their president because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country,” Trump said in a statement.
However, no Eagles players kneeled during the anthem last season, a fact former Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith pointed out on Twitter, calling Trump’s decision to cancel the Eagles’ visit “a cowardly act.”MORE NEWS: Kenosha County Sheriff's Deputy Shoots Chicago Homicide Suspect At Bristol Gas Station After Two-State Crime Spree; Suspect Shot Police K-9 During Confrontation
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