The Slatest

Trump Suggests Season Suspension as Punishment for NFL Players Who Protest During Anthem

Members of the Houston Texans kneel during the national anthem before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on October 29, 2017 in Seattle, Washington.
Members of the Houston Texans kneel during the national anthem before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on October 29, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Friday night and as everyone was focused on revelations that his longtime lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen had made a secret recording of a conversation with his former boss, the commander in chief put in his two cents about the NFL and the national anthem—again. The president seemed incredulous that the issue was back in the news, wondering if it wasn’t “contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart.” (For the record, no it isn’t.) He went on to propose an extreme punishment for those who dare kneel during the anthem.

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“The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand,” Trump wrote. “First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!”

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The tweet came shortly after the NFL and the players union both said late Thursday night they were taking a time out from the issue. That move came hours after reports that Miami Dolphins players who carry out on-field protests during the anthem would be suspended for up to four games.

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On Friday, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross issued a statement saying the team hadn’t “made a decision” on the anthem policy.

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Earlier this year, the NFL said that players who did not want to stand for the anthem would have to remain in the locker room. But nowhere in the policy does it say the players have to stand with their “hand on heart.” Eric Winston, the head of the NFL Players Association, responded to Trump on Twitter: “Thank you for your thoughts, but we’ll take it from here.”

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