‘Out for season/no pay!’ Trump calls on tougher NFL suspension for protesting players

‘Out for season/no pay!’ Trump calls on tougher NFL suspension for protesting players
US president Donald Trump has called on National Football League (NFL) bosses to suspend players involved in kneeling demonstrations for an entire season without pay.

Trump has repeatedly admonished players who partake in kneeling protests since the problem emerged in 2016. In a Twitter post on Friday, the president called for a one-game ban for kneeling and a season-long ban for a repeat offence.

READ MORE: Leading US sports clubs cut ties with Papa John’s in wake of n-word scandal

“The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again - can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart?,” Trump tweeted. “The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!

The anthem protest issue flared up again after Associated Press reported Thursday that the Miami Dolphins planned to suspend protesting players for up to four games under a new team policy.

In the wake of the news, the NFL and NFL Players Association made a joint statement on Thursday saying that no anthem-related team policies will be enforced for the next several weeks as part of a standstill agreement between the two sides.

Anthem protests have been one of the highly debated issues in sport for almost two years after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during pre-game ceremonies in protest of what he viewed as police brutality and racial discrimination in the USA.