President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to once again criticize the idea of kneeling during the national anthem.
In a series of tweets and retweets, Trump implied he would not be watching United States national soccer team games or NFL games if there’s kneeling during the anthem.
Quote tweeting a story reporting Rep. Matt Gaetz’s thoughts on U.S. Soccer’s recent repeal of a rule that required national team players to stand for the anthem, Trump wrote, “I won’t be watching much anymore!”
He followed that up with a quote tweet of Rep. Jim Jordan on a similar story, adding: “And it looks like the NFL is heading in that direction also, but not with me watching!”
He then retweeted another story stating Gaetz’s thoughts then retweeted Gaetz himself.
Gaetz’s tweet read: “I’d rather the US not have a soccer team than have a soccer team that won’t stand for the National Anthem. You shouldn’t get to play under our flag as our national team if you won’t stand when it is raised.”
Trump has been critical of NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem since then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the practice to protest police brutality and other social and racial injustices during the 2016 season. Trump made derogatory remarks at a 2017 rally about NFL players who kneel during the anthem, leading to widespread kneeling that season.
Some players have continued to kneel or perform some other type of demonstration since then, but protests during the anthem are expected to be far more widespread this season as protests are staged around the country after the death of George Floyd.
A few days ago, Trump questioned NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s message to players for seemingly giving players a blessing of sorts to protest during the anthem if they so choose. Trump maintains that kneeling during the anthem is disrespectful to the flag and the country.