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Trump Responds To NFL Players Kneeling On Thanksgiving
US President Donald Trump gestures after speaking during election night in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, early on November 4, 2020.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

On Thanksgiving Day, President Donald Trump reacted to NFL players kneeling during the playing of the national anthem with two simple words: “No thanks.”

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and Houston Texans Deshaun Watson both took a knee during the anthem, apparently to protest police brutality and racism in the country.

“No thanks!” Trump wrote, captioning a side-by-side photo of the two football players.

Anthem kneeling first popped up in the NFL back in 2016, when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee to allegedly protest police brutality against black Americans. Kaepernick’s messaging has since included pro-communist signaling and general anti-American sentiment.

President Trump, always an opponent of protesting during the anthem, again fiercely ripped anthem kneeling over the summer when the protesting was seemingly becoming the “new norm” for most professional athletes.

“I think it’s disgraceful,” Trump said of the “new norm,” The Daily Wire reported in August. “I was pushing them to get open, then I see everybody kneeling during the anthem. It’s not acceptable to me.”

“When I see them kneeling, I just turn off the game,” the president said. “I have no interest in the game; and let me tell you this, there are plenty of other people out there, too.”

Trump also addressed the Black Lives Matter organization, boasting about his work for the black community and slamming the activist group for their criticism of police and “Marxist” ties.

“Black Lives Matter, where did it start?” posed Trump, “Marching down streets screaming, ‘Pigs in a blanket, Fry ’em like bacon’ — they were talking about policemen, police men and women. ‘Pigs in a blanket, Fry ’em like bacon.’”

Trump was seemingly referring to BLM activists loudly chanting the anti-police slogan back in 2015 during a demonstration in St. Paul, Minnesota. CNN has confirmed that the demonstration was held by a “Black Lives Matter group” but says it was “an independent entity not affiliated with the national Black Lives Matter organization.”

“So, all of a sudden it’s taken on this air of great respectability,” Trump questioned the radical organization. “Well, how does it start there? It’s a Marxist group that is not looking for good things for our country.”

“And now I see these leagues all kneeling down,” he continued, “And, again, nobody has done more for the black community by far … than I have,” he said, excluding former president and emancipator Abraham Lincoln.

“We gotta stand up for our flag,” Trump said. “We have to stand up for our country, we have to stand up for our anthem. And a lot of people agree with me. … Hey, if I’m wrong. I’m gonna lose an election, okay? And that’s okay with me. But I will always stand for our country and our flag.”

Earlier this season, Stafford told reporters he was kneeling during the anthem because it was “the right thing to do.”

“Just felt like it was the right thing at the right time,” he said in September, according to MLive. “Obviously it’s been an amazing offseason just for our team, for a lot of people, something where there’s been great opportunity for growth and learning and understanding, and just felt like it was the right thing for me.”

As noted by Fox News, for their opening game, the Texans stayed in the locker room during the playing of the national anthem and the so-called black national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” before meeting the Kansas City Chiefs for a “moment of unity.”

Related: Steelers Player Won’t Kneel For Anthem: ‘Screw Anybody’ Who Has A ‘Problem With That’; Talks Of Immigrant Grandmother

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