President Donald Trump applauded the new policy in the NFL on the national anthem protest but said that players remaining in the locker room could still be a problem.
The NFL passed a rule requiring all players and league personnel on the field to "stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem," but leaving the option for players to stay in the locker room.
Teams also can be fined for any personnel that "do not show proper respect for the flag and Anthem” on the sidelines.
Last September, Trump called for players to be fired if they disrespected the flag and months later said the league was "weak and out of control" for allowing anthem protests.
Again, he suggested those who don't stand for the flag should be out of the league, maybe even leave the United States.
"I think that’s good,” Trump said Thursday on Fox and Friends. “I don’t think people should be staying in locker rooms, but still I think it’s good. 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. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem and the NFL owners did the right thing if that’s what they’ve done.”
Trump said it was the fans that ultimately pushed the issue forward to get the new rule passed.“
"This was not me. I brought it out. I think the people pushed it forward. This country’s very smart," Trump said. "We have very smart people. That’s something ideally could have been taken when it first started, it would have been a lot easier. But if they did that, they’re doing the right thing.”