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In Huntsville, Alabama, President Donald Trump shared harsh words about North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. Calling Jong-un ‘little rocket man,’ Trump said ‘nobody’s going to mess with our people.’
USA TODAY

While speaking at a campaign rally Friday night for U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, President Donald Trump called for NFL players to be fired for protesting the national anthem.

The Huntsville, Ala. crowd roared after Trump said he would like to see the head of an NFL team punish players who protest the playing of the song.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!”  

The audience then burst into chants of “USA!:

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The MMQB’s Tim Rohan looks at the rise of national anthem protests throughout the NFL.
Time

“You know, some owner’s going to do that,” Trump continued. “He’s going to say, ‘That guy who disrespects our flag, he’s fired.'”

Though Trump didn’t name any players specifically, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick gained both widespread criticism and praise during the 2016 season for taking such a stance.

Kaepernick, now an unsigned free agent, protested what he described as police brutality in the United States by dropping to one knee while the national anthem was played before games.

Throughout the 2016 season and now into the 2017 season, other players have followed suit, some taking a knee and others remaining seated or raising a fist during the anthem.

Trump encouraged fans to walk out of a game if a player was protesting the anthem.

“But you know what’s hurting the game more than that?” Trump said. “When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they are playing our great national anthem.

“The only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium, I guarantee things will stop. Things will stop. Just pick up and leave. Pick up and leave. Not the same game anymore anyway.”

NFL players respond back to Trump

Soon after Trump’s remarks, current and former NFL players, along with others supporting the anthem protests, began chiming in on social media.

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews was among the first NFL…