Trump Doubles Down: Anthem Issue 'About Respect,' Not Race
President praises fans who booed kneelers, along with NASCAR
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2017 7:49 AM CDT
President Trump speaks at a campaign rally for Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – In the wake of so many NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem Sunday, Mike Allen of Axios wrote that the "massive unknown" is whether President Trump would let the issue drop or turn it into a "crusade." Well, it appears Trump is not letting it drop. In a series of tweets Monday, he praised NASCAR for its support of the anthem, lauded NFL fans who booed the kneelers, and again insisted that this isn't about race:

  • One: "So proud of NASCAR and its supporters and fans. They won't put up with disrespecting our Country or our Flag - they said it loud and clear!"
  • Two: "Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday (which was a small percentage of total). These are fans who demand respect for our Flag!"
  • Three: "The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!"

Meanwhile, a political group that backs Trump has begun a social media campaign urging a boycott of the league, reports BuzzFeed. The digital ad from America First Policies reads "Turn off the NFL" and includes the hashtag "#TakeAStandNotAKnee. Another question is whether the anthem protest would spread to other sports. Over the weekend, catcher Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland A's became the first Major League Baseball player to kneel during the anthem, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

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