Lee Daniels is the latest to weigh in on Trump's comments about NFL protests

PHOTO: Lee Daniels speaks in New York on Sept. 23, 2017 and LeBron James speaks in Independence, Ohio on Sept. 25, 2017.PlayWireImage|Getty Images
WATCH LeBron James defends NFL protests: 'It's not about the disrespect of our flag'

More celebrities are weighing in on President Donald Trump's criticism of NFL players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

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Speaking to ABC News, director Lee Daniels said the country is experiencing "dark times," which can lead to great art.

"Trump is who he is," the creator of "Empire" said. "If it was to his benefit to support black Americans, that’s what he’d be doing. He’s a player. You know what I mean and I think that he’s playing all of us with the stuff about North Korea and Russia and everything ... he’s saying look over here when he’s really doing some stuff over there."

He added, "I think it’s making artists and filmmakers come up with their best work. Because we are in these dark times, I think that’s when the best art comes."

On Sunday, the director posted a photo of himself taking a knee and encouraged others to do the same.

"#TAKEAKNEE - Take a photo ?? - Post It!" he captioned the photo.

#TAKEAKNEE - Take a photo ?? - Post It!

A post shared by Lee Daniels (@theoriginalbigdaddy) on Sep 24, 2017 at 1:08pm PDT

Daniels joined a slew of other stars reacting to Sunday's peaceful protest by dozens of NFL players across the country and overseas in London, who either kneeled or locked arms in solidarity as the national anthem played before Sunday's football games.

The impromptu protest was in response to comments Trump made during a speech in Huntsville, Alabama, Friday and remarks on Twitter in which he called for the NFL to "fire or suspend" those who kneel during "The Star-Spangled Banner."

"The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race," Trump tweeted earlier today. "It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!"

Speaking to the press today, LeBron James said Sunday's protests were not about "the disrespect of our flag and the military that’s made this world free."

He said, "It's about equality."

Asked if he felt bad about calling the president a "bum" on Twitter, the Cleveland Cavaliers star replied, "Basically, no."

Mark Ruffalo also took to Twitter today to defend protestors.

ABC News' Candice Williams contributed to this report.