WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump took to praising NASCAR on Monday after some of its owners said that they would not tolerate protests during the national anthem.
It was the fourth day in a row that Trump has gone after players who have bent on one knee during the anthem, in a protest of racial injustice, and the NFL officials and team owners who have shown support in solidarity.
On Sunday, dozens of players did so, after Trump first attacked them for doing so at a rally in Alabama and later called for a boycott if action wasn’t taken by the NFL to curb the protests. He called on team owners to fire any “son of a b—” who “disrespects our flag.”
At the Washington Redskins game against Oakland, Redskins owner Dan Snyder locked arms with teammates in solidarity while a few players when on one knee. Many of the Raiders remained seated.
Trump’s tweet about NASCAR was in response to reports that owners would fire those who chose to protest during the anthem.
Trump also tweeted support for #Standforouranthem, a campaign against the protests. The NFL on Sunday night re-aired an ad that calls for unity.
Meanwhile, arguably NASCAR’s biggest star Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted a quote in opposition to the president, and defending peaceful protests.
Trump denied that his criticism of the NFL and team players has “anything to do with race.” According to the Institute of Diversity and Ethics in Sport, African Americans made up 69.7% of the players in the NFL in 2016.
Trump, though, has also tried to make standing during the anthem about respect for the military. He retweeted a remark about Pat Tillman, the former NFL player who joined the U.S. Army in the aftermath of 9/11 and was killed in Afghanistan.
Trump also claimed that many of the players who went on one knee were booed.