Donald Trump rips NFL's new national anthem policy after praising it

 

If the NFL thought its new national anthem policy was going to permanently satisfy President Donald Trump, it better come up with a new game plan.

In response to the furor over players kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice ― not to mention the president calling for kneelers to be fired ― the league announced a new policy in May that requires players on the field to stand at attention for “The Star-Spangled Banner” but allows them to remain in the locker room if they choose. The league can fine teams whose players defy the edict while teams reserve the right to punish or fine their own personnel.

The president’s reaction soon after was “that’s good” and “NFL owners did the right thing” while noting that he still didn’t think players “should be staying in locker rooms.” 

But at a rally Wednesday in Great Falls, Montana, the president blasted the policy as a “stupid thing.”

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Sep 12, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; A San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (not pictured) fan holds a sign after the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Levi's Stadium. The 49ers won 28-0. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
At the start of the game protestors take a knee in support of the movement started by NFL player Colin Kaepernick, outside Lincoln Financial Field, in South Philadelphia, PA, on September 24, 2017. Similar protest are staged around the nation after US President Donald Trump named Kaepernick a Son of A Bitch at a recent rally. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
At the start of the game protestors take a knee in support of the movement started by NFL player Colin Kaepernick, outside Lincoln Financial Field, in South Philadelphia, PA, on September 24, 2017. Similar protest are staged around the nation after US President Donald Trump named Kaepernick a Son of A Bitch at a recent rally. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, USA - SEPTEMBER 10: Protesters stage a rally against the National Football League (NFL), supporting Colin Kaepernick, outside the Soldier Field stadium in Chicago, United States on September 10, 2017. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - AUGUST 23 : People participate in a rally against the National Football League (NFL), supporting Colin Kaepernick in Manhattan borough of New York, United States on August 23, 2017. (Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
01 September 2016: A fan supports San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the NFL preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 01: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers signs autographs for fans after a 31-21 win over the San Diego Chargers during a preseason game at Qualcomm Stadium on September 1, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Sep 25, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) shoots a selfie with fans outside the locker room during pre game warmups against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 01: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers signs autographs for fans after a 31-21 win over the San Diego Chargers during a preseason game at Qualcomm Stadium on September 1, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers signs an autograph for a fan prior to playing the Los Angeles Rams in their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 04: A fan dressed up as Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers watches from the seats during the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 4, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the 49ers 26-6. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 16: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers interacts with fans before the game against the Buffalo Bills on October 16, 2016 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo defeats San Francisco 45-16. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
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“Hey, how about the NFL. Look I don’t want to cause controversy. … I don’t want to cause controversy,” Trump said, according to the New York Post. “They passed this stupid thing. You don’t have to do this anymore if you don’t respect the flag or if you don’t like the country or whatever it is, just go into the locker room.”

“I think in many respects that’s worse. Isn’t that worse than not standing? You know? I think that’s worse. You know what? It doesn’t play. It doesn’t play. I actually think in many ways it’s worse.”

Players were previously required to be on the field for the anthem and encouraged to stand.

Trump also ripped NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in his Montana remarks.

“This commissioner, where does this guy come from, I have no idea,” Trump said, according to NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk. The president complained that despite Goodell’s multimillion-dollar annual contract, league ratings were still down.

In addition to Trump’s refrain of blaming the protests for declining TV ratings, the president said viewership fell because fans preferred to spend their time watching politics and the president.

“But they’re [NFL ratings] also down because people find politics — in other words, hitting Trump, incorrectly, but hitting Trump — they find that to be much tougher, meaner, and more interesting than watching a football game.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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