President Donald Trump spoke out on Wednesday to blast both Black Lives Matter and athletes who take a knee during the national anthem.
“Black Lives Matter, when did it start? Marching down the street screaming ‘pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon.’ They were talking about policemen and women,” President Trump said during an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday.
“All of a sudden, this is taking on this air of great respectability,” he added. “Well, how does it start there? It’s a Marxist group. It’s a Marxist group that is not looking for good things for our country and now I see these leagues all kneeling down.”
Not stopping there, Trump went on to blast the many professional athletes who have been taking a knee during the national anthem upon the resumption of their sporting seasons.
“When I see people kneeling during the playing and disrespecting our flag and national anthem, what I do personally is turn off the game. I think it’s disgraceful,” Trump said. “We work with [the NBA], we worked with them very hard trying to get open. I was pushing for them to get open. Then I see everybody kneeling during the anthem. That’s not acceptable to me. When I see them kneeling during the game, I just turn off the game. I have no interest in the game. Let me tell you this, plenty of other people out there, too…”
“The ratings for the basketball are way down, as you know. I hear some others are way down, including baseball,” he added. “We have to stand up for our flag, stand up for our country. A lot of people agree with me. If I’m wrong, I’m going to lose an election. That’s okay with me. I will always stand for our flag.”
President Trump calls NBA players "disgraceful" for kneeling during anthem, implies that he's done more for the black community than Abraham Lincoln pic.twitter.com/C5YJW3pAps
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So many athletes have been taking a knee during the national anthem in recent weeks that those who stand for the patriotic song have been the ones in the hot seat, forced to explain why they are not taking a knee. NBA star Jonathan Isaac found himself in this situation last week, when he was the only NBA player to stand for the anthem.