As far as Donald Trump is concerned, any NFL player taking a knee during the national anthem should perhaps "not be in the country," NBC reports. This week the NFL announced a new policy that will require all players to stand during the national anthem or potentially face a fine, with the option to stay in the locker room without penalty instead.
The president has always been critical of players kneeling during the anthem, a move sparked by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as a means to peacefully protest racial inequality and police brutality, in particular.
It should come as no surprise that Trump is in support of this new policy, which he still views as being too lenient on players. "Well, I think that’s good. I don’t think people should be staying in locker rooms. But still, I think it’s good," he said in a Fox and Friends interview that aired Thursday. "You have to stand proudly for the national anthem, or you shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there. Maybe you shouldn't be in the country."
He went on to say NFL owners "did the right thing." While individual teams are free to work out their own rules for their staff, they are required to be "consistent with the above principles," and this might include fines.
Trump's comments overlap with his regressive views on immigration, something he also spoke about during the interview. He told the hosts the only immigration bills he would consider are ones that include his controversial border wall plan. "Unless it includes a wall, I mean a real wall ... there will be no approvals from me," he said, adding that he wants any potential deals to include DACA protections, increased border security as well as funds to build his wall. "It's time to get the whole package."