President Trump says the NFL should have acted when Colin Kaepernick first took a knee

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during a news conference after an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. New Orleans won the game 41-23. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

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In a Wednesday night interview with Fox News, President Donald Trump told host Sean Hannity what he believes the NFL should have done with Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick, then playing for the San Francisco 49ers, began kneeling during pregame performances of the national anthem during the 2016-2017 season. His silent protest has since been mimicked by hundreds of players across the country, in a wide variety of sports.

President Trump wished it didn’t get that far.

“[T]he NFL should have suspended him for one game, and he would have never done it again,” Trump told Hannity. “They could have then suspended him for two games, and they could have suspended him again if he did it a third time, for the season, and you would never have had a problem.”

Trump’s comments came on the same day that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL owners and the NFL Players Association announced they would meet next week in New York to decide what to do about anthem protests.

The NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement on the matter.

Goodell expressed earlier this week that he was eager for the league to move on from anthem protests.

“We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players,” he said.

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