President Trump spoke-out publicly over his ongoing feud with the National Football League on Tuesday, telling reporters at the White House that he was “ashamed” of the league’s weekend demonstrations and urged “disgraceful” officials to ban player protests during the national anthem.
The President was speaking alongside Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy when he was asked whether he was “pre-occupied” by the NFL protests as Puerto Rico struggled to rebuild following a devastating hurricane last week.
“I wasn’t preoccupied with the NFL. I was ashamed of what was taking place. To me, that was a very important moment. I don’t think you can disrespect our country, our flag, our national anthem. To me, the NFL situation is a very important situation,” said the President.
“I’ve heard that before… ‘Was I pre-occupied?’ Not at all, not at all. I have plenty of time on my hands. All I do is work, and to be honest with you, that’s an important function of working; it’s called respect for our country,” he added.
“Many people have died, many, many people. Many people are so horribly injured,” said Trump. “They were fighting for our country, they were fighting for our flag, they were fighting for our national anthem. For people to disrespect them by kneeling during the playing of our national anthem I think is disgraceful.”
“I think it’s a very important thing for the NFL to not allow people to kneel during the playing of our national anthem, to respect our country, and to respect our flag,” he added.
Watch the President’s comments above.