WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Trump told reporters from various right-wing news outlets today that he was “bigly pleased” to see the new pregame national anthem policy instituted by the NFL yesterday, just minutes after implying players who kneel during the anthem perhaps “shouldn’t be in the country.”
Throughout the presidential campaign and first year of his term, Trump hammered NFL players who choose the national anthem as a time to protest police brutality. Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the protests two years ago, at first sitting, and then taking a knee while the anthem played. Despite Kaepernick making it very clear from the outset that he was kneeling not to protest the anthem, flag, or the United States, but instead police brutality against the African American community and other people of color, Trump and the right have weaponized the issue and used it as another talking point against liberalism.
As reported by MSN, when asked about the policy change, which Trump has lobbied for aggressively, Trump praised it, and even seemed to imply that players who don’t kneel should leave America.
Trump says he doesn’t “think people should be standing in locker rooms,” but he praised the plan overall.
He says, “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.” (source)
While speaking to reporters from Breitbart, InfoWars, and a guy who prints out KKK pamphlets and sticks them to car windshields, Trump reiterated his support for the new policy, doubled-down on his rhetoric about protesting players leaving the country, but insisted he isn’t racist or holding a double-standard.
“Everyone’s out there getting up in arms about this, saying it’s forced patriotism and that doesn’t sound like liberty or freedom to them,” President Trump said. “To me, nothing says ‘Land of liberty and freedom’ like being forced to worship the state.”
Mr. Trump insisted that he has no double standards and isn’t racially biased.
“Sure it’s primarily black players protesting an issue that impacts primarily the black community,” Trump said, “and sure, maybe if it were white players using the national anthem to protest taxes, how Christians are treated in this country, or abortion, my base would support it and I’d be singing a different tune, but well, you know, things and such.”
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders entered the Oval Office with a copy of the full-page ad Trump took out in 1989 demanding the death penalty for the “Central Park 5,” a group of black men charged with a murder they did not commit and were later exonerated for. Huckabee placed the ad down on the Resolute Desk with a regular sized gold Sharpie and told Trump one of his biggest supporters wanted him to autograph the ad.
“Ah, some of my best work to date,” Trump said, eyeing the ad. “Here, let me just sign it…”
But the Sharpie was too large to fit in Trump’s hands comfortably, so after a few moments fumbling with it, he simply held it in a closed fist and scrawled a “DT” on the ad and sent Sanders on her way. Moments later, she returned.
Buy this shirt and help us feed these kids that won’t keep bothering us about eating.
“Mr. President, sorry, the Smithsonian was wondering if they could have this for their presidential archives? It’s the notice you were served for the 1973 housing discrimination lawsuit the federal government filed against you,” Sanders said. “You know, for not renting to urbans?”
Trump smiled and nodded.
“I’m bigly honored, of course they can have it,” Trump said. “If it’s got my name on it, it has to be good, right?”
“Now where were we,” Trump asked rhetorically. “Oh, right, let me tell you all the ways I’m not racist, but let’s do that after I call Mexicans rapist and murderers and make it seem like every one of them is probably in MS-13 or sympathizes with them, okay? Great!”