In an interview broadcast on Fox and Friends this morning, President Trump suggested that NFL players who refuse to stand for the national anthem “maybe shouldn’t be in the country”.
“I think that’s good. I don’t think people should be staying in the locker rooms, but still I think it’s good. you have to stand proudly for the National Anthem,” Trump said.
— Axios (@axios) May 24, 2018
“You shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe they shouldn’t be in the country,” he added.
Team owners announced yesterday that teams would be fined if players don’t stand or fail to “show respect for the flag.”
The issue represents another big rhetorical win for Trump, who has been able to use the controversy to portray his opponents as anti-American.
“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,” tweeted Vice President Mike Pence.
A survey conducted in January found that 33% of NFL fans boycotted the league last year partly as a result of player protests, a factor which contributed to declining television ratings.
The results of the poll pointed to a more general trend which emerged last year; Americans becoming jaded with identity politics and virtue signalling dominating awards shows, sports and Hollywood.
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