Rev. Jesse Jackson accused President Trump of having a “slave-master-servant mentality” for criticizing NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.
In an interview with The New York Times Sunday, Jackson encouraged players to protest the president for his recent remarks concerning the hot-button issue.
“They should all kneel, not against the flag, but against the interference by Mr. Trump with their First Amendment rights,” Jackson said.
Comparing the millionaire athletes to oppressed “cotton pickers,” Jackson argued that players across numerous sports should outright refuse to play.
“If the cotton pickers don’t pick cotton, the industry doesn’t move,” Jackson added. “The NFL and NBA players don’t play the game, it doesn’t move.”
During a Friday night rally in Alabama, Trump decried the NFL protests as an attack on the American flag.
“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,'” Trump said. “‘He is fired.'”
Trump defended his statement Sunday and shot back at reporters who insinuated that his remarks were somehow racist.
“This has nothing to do with race. I never said anything about race. This has nothing to do with race or anything else,” Trump said. “This has to do with respect for our country and respect for our flag.”
The protests, which players claim are over racial injustice, began with quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the Obama presidency.
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