Trump wants suspensions for NFL players who kneel during anthem

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, free safety Eric Reid (35) kneel, national anthem before NFL game v Los Angeles Rams Levi’s Stadium, September 12, 2016. ― Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters pic
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, free safety Eric Reid (35) kneel, national anthem before NFL game v Los Angeles Rams Levi’s Stadium, September 12, 2016. ― Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, July 21 ― US President Donald Trump said yesterday that National Football League (NFL) players who do not stand for the national anthem should be suspended for the season without pay.

The comments come a day after the NFL and the union representing its players said they were working on a resolution to the league’s national anthem policy.

The policy, which was announced in May, followed Trump’s denunciation of pregame protests which were intended to call attention to what critics say is often brutal treatment of minorities by US law enforcement.

Trump and others have blasted the gesture as a sign of disrespect to the US flag and the military.

“The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again ― can’t believe it!,” Trump said on Twitter.

“First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay.

“The US$40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand,” he said in reference to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The players union, the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), recently filed a grievance over the league’s new requirement that players stand for the national anthem or wait in their dressing rooms.

The NFLPA claimed the new policy was inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringed on player rights.

The NFL and NFLPA said on Thursday no new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while the confidential discussions are ongoing. ― Reuters

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