Trump says issue of NFL players kneeling 'has nothing to do with race'

The president weighed in again on controversy sparked by his slamming kneeling.

Rather, the president said the issue is "respect for our country, flag and national anthem."

Trump appeared to be responding to critics who say his slam of players who kneel in protest is about race.

The president sparked the controversy at a rally Friday night when he declared that football team owners should fire players who kneel during the anthem.

The comments spurred a strong reaction by NFL players and owners, with many players kneeling or locking arms during the "Star-Spangled Banner" on Sunday as a rebuke to the president.

The president on Monday continued hammering his argument that kneeling during the national anthem is unpatriotic.

"It is about respect for our country, flag and national anthem," he tweeted. "NFL must respect this!"

He also returned to his claim that NFL fans don't support the player protests.

Trump also sought to contrast the NFL with NASCAR, whose fans he said wouldn't "put up with disrespecting our country or our flag." Several NASCAR team owners and executives said Sunday that they would not want anyone in their organization to protest, The Associated Press reported.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Top Stories

Top Stories

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events