President Donald Trump again criticized NFL players who protest during the national anthem Monday, saying that the league should suspend them for one game or more.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently said that she did not find the NFL players protesting during the national anthem disrespectful. In response to a question from a reporter on Monday, Trump said that he hopes Clinton runs for president again and found her comments to be "very disrespectful to our country."
"There's plenty of time to do knees and there's plenty of time to do other things...Well that's why she lost the election. It's that thinking that is the reason why she lost the election. When you go down and take a knee—you're sitting essentially—for our our national anthem, you're disrespecting our flag and you're disrespecting our country," Trump said. "The NFL should've suspended some of these players for one game. Not fire them. Suspended them for one game and then if they did it again, it could be one game then two games then three games and then for the season. You wouldn't have people disrespecting our country right now."
Watch his full comments below:
"It is very disrespectful to our country when they take a knee during our national anthem, number one," he added. "Number two, the people of our country are very angry at the NFL. All you have to do is look at their ratings and look at their stadiums. You see empty seats where you never saw them before. A lot of people are very angry at it. It is highly disrespectful. They shouldn't do it."
The national anthem protests started last season when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the song to raise awareness of racial injustice and police brutality in America. Kaepernick opted out of his contract in March and remains a free agent. On Sunday, he filed a grievance under the latest collective bargaining agreement against NFL owners for collusion.
Before Week 3 of the NFL season, Trump made comments about how players should stand during The Star-Spangled Banner as a sign of respect and that NFL owners should fire players who protest. He also called protesting players "son of a b----." Vice President Mike Pence walked out of a Colts game last week after players on the San Francisco 49ers roster took a knee during the national anthem.