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Trump Calls for Suspensions After NFL Players Protest During Anthem

After players on several NFL teams opted to continue an ongoing silent protest during the pregame national anthem in preseason play this week, President Donald Trump once again added his input to the debate.

In a pair of Friday morning tweets, he suggested the demonstrators do not actually know what they are protesting.

“The NFL players are at it again – taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem,” he wrote. “Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their ‘outrage’ at something that most of them are unable to do.”

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Trump said the athletes, who say they are demonstrating against police brutality and racial inequality, should pick a different forum for their protests or face suspension from the league.

“They make a fortune doing what they love………..Be happy, be cool!” Trump tweeted. “A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!”

Following Thursday’s games, the NFL issued a statement concerning the pregame protests, as reported by ESPN.

Should protesting players be suspended without pay?

“There has been no change in the NFL’s policy regarding the national anthem,” spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “The anthem will continue to be played before every game, and all player and non-player personnel on the field at that time are expected to stand during the presentation of the flag and performance of the anthem.

He added that those “who do not wish to do so can choose to remain in the locker room.”

McCarthy said that the NFL remains “committed to working with the players to identify solutions and to continue making progress on important social issues affecting our community.”

Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who began the protests during the 2016 preseason, also weighed in on the demonstrations that kicked off this preseason.

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Specifically, he tweeted his support for Miami Dolphins players who demonstrated by taking a knee during the anthem prior to Thursday’s game.

One of those protesters, defensive end Robert Quinn, explained his decision to protest.

“As a black man in this world, I’ve got an obligation to raise awareness,” he said. “If no one wants to live in unity, that’s why we’re in the situation we’re in.”

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