On Friday night, President Donald Trump told the attendees of a rally in Alabama that NFL owners should fire any “son of a bitch” who disrespects the flag. On Saturday afternoon, he repeated his message, without the profanity.
“If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem,” Trump said. “If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”
For the NFL, there’s no rule requiring players to stand for the anthem and, in turn, no authority to fire a player who chooses not to do so. So the NFL can’t fire a player who doesn’t stand. (But, of course, it can shun the player who helped the others realize the power of peaceful protest, as long as it can get enough people in the media to spread the idea that he’s being shunned only for football reasons.)
It’s unclear why the President decided to repeat what he said last night. It’s possibly an expression of defiance in response to those who have objected to his message, including the NFL, the NFL Players Association, and multiple players.
It’s possibly also an effort, as suggested earlier, to ensure that the protests spread on Sunday and Monday, which will in turn cause the objections to the protests to spread.