Mayor: NFL's new national anthem kneel policy 'un-American'

Mayor: NFL's new national anthem kneel policy 'un-American'

There was a time, not long ago, when the National Football League actually stood for something. "I think they're afraid of their players, you want to know the truth". Arizona changed its laws and recognised the King holiday. Teams will be fined if their players disobey the new rules.

"You shouldn't be there - maybe you shouldn't be in the country".

Trump, Johnson said, has demonstrated "time and time again that he lacks the intellectual curiosity to really address serious issues confronting this nation".

At an Alabama rally in September, Trump called players who kneeled a "son of a bitch" and encouraged fans to boycott games when the protests occurred.

"You have to stand proudly for the national anthem, or you shouldn't be playing", the president said in response to a question about the NFL owners' vote to approve a national anthem rule that will request players stay in the locker room if they will not stand for the anthem.

Team spokesman Brian Cearns suggested it's too strong to say they have a team policy: "The word policy sounds like it was mandated". Potential offenders were identified as "team and league personnel". The policy, they believe, is the tidiest way to make the issue disappear. Instead, Trump seized upon it as way to throw red meat to the red states, twisting something productive into an attack on patriotism, the military and the nation itself.

Houston Texans players kneel and stand during the singing of the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. NFL owners have approved a new policy aimed at addressing the

Trump said the owners are "doing the right thing" on the issue, which he turned into a cause celebre past year with provocative comments at a rally and a barrage of tweets. How Goodell and the owners have allowed themselves to do this is jaw-dropping, especially in a league where roughly 70 per cent of the players are African American.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said afterward that the objective is to "have people to be respectful of the national anthem".

"I think that's good", Mr Trump told Fox, in what White House correspondents count as his 23rd interview with the conservative cable network since he became president. Beginning this season, players on the sideline must stand for the "Star Spangled Banner", but they also may choose to remain in the locker room.

But fear does bad things to good people. Television ratings went down.

What some teams have done in the past likely indicates how they will handle disciplining players for demonstrations during the anthem - regardless of the intent.

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