'Be happy, be cool!': Trump trashes NFL players as preseason ushers in a fresh round of protests

  • President Donald Trump tweeted criticism of NFL players who protested during the national anthem during preseason games on Thursday.
  • Trump said players should be appreciative of the money they make in the NFL and should be suspended without pay if they kneel during the anthem.
  • Trump also said players don’t know what they are protesting.
  • Two NFL players kneeled during the anthem on Thursday while several others made other gestures or protests.

President Donald Trump on Friday fired off a new round of criticism toward NFL players over protests during the national anthem.

Following a slate of 12 preseason games on Thursday, Trump tweeted that players who kneel during the anthem should be suspended without pay. He argued that players should be thankful for the amount of money they make and that they don’t know what they are protesting.

“The NFL players are at it again – taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem,” Trump tweeted. “Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their ‘outrage’ at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love…”

He continued in another tweet: “Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!”

According to ESPN, Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson both kneeled during the anthem, while defensive end Robert Quinn stood with his fist raised.

Players from other teams took different routes. Four Jacksonville Jaguars players did not take the field for the anthem, while three Seattle Seahawks players ran into the tunnel as the anthem began to play. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Tim Williams, meanwhile, stood separated from his teammates with his back to the field.

The NFL and players union haven’t announced an anthem policy since suspending the policy owners voted on in the spring. That policy mandated players stand for the anthem or wait in the locker room.

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