President Donald Trump continued on his daily assault on the NFL, saying that the league's owners are afraid of their players.
Trump, in an interview with Fox News on Thursday, said it is "disgraceful" that the owners fear the players and won't stop them for protesting the anthem.
“I have so many friends that are owners, and they’re in a box,” Trump said.
“I mean, I’ve spoken to a couple of them. They say, ‘we are in this situation where we have to do something.’ I think they’re afraid of their players (if) you want to know the truth. And I think it’s disgraceful. And they’ve got to be tough and they’ve got to be smart.”
At least seven NFL owners have reportedly given money to Trump's inaugural, including Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Trump said Wednesday that he spoke with Jones about the protests and called him a "winner who knows how to get things done. Players will stand for Country!”
“The NFL cannot disrespect our country. They cannot disrespect our flag or our national anthem. And they can’t have people sitting down or kneeling down during our national anthem," Trump said.
At least 250 NFL players, including the entire rosters of the Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks, did not participate in the anthem last weekend and chose to either kneel or stay in the locker room.
The protest followed Trump's speech during a rally calling for players to be fired if they did not stand for the anthem.