BOSTON (CBS) – President Trump weighed in on the NFL’s new national anthem policy, saying that players who kneel “maybe…shouldn’t be in the country.”

On Wednesday, NFL owners approved the new policy. Teams will be required to stand for the national anthem, though players have the option to stay in the locker room.

If players kneel for the anthem, the team will be fined by the league. Individual teams can also decide if they want to fine players who protest.

In an interview with Fox and Friends on Thursday, Trump said the “NFL owners did the right thing.”

“I don’t think people should be staying in locker rooms, but it’s good. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe they shouldn’t be in the country,” Trump said. “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem. The NFL owners did the right thing, if that’s what they’ve done.”

Members of the New England Patriots kneel on the sidelines as the National Anthem is played before the game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 24, 2017. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Trump has been outspoken on the national anthem protests. In September, he sparked outrage in the NFL community when he said during a rally that players who kneel should be fired.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,” Trump said at the time.

Those comments led to protests throughout the league, including a group of Patriots players.

Following Wednesday’s announcement, Vice President Mike Pence tweeted a photo of a story on the subject and wrote “#Winning.”


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