"No policy is going to fix our problems that we have in America right now", he said. Players wishing to continue demonstrations like the kneeling movement sparked by Colin Kaepernick to protest social injustice will be allowed to remain in the locker room during the anthem.
Players from Seattle, Buffalo, Denver and New Orleans were among those grappling with how to move forward following the league's announcement Wednesday of a new national anthem policy, which will fine teams if players on the field are not standing for the anthem.
"The NFL owners did the right thing", Trump said Thursday in an interview on "Fox & Friends". It is just disappointing that the National Football League has not seen that the majority of the players in this locker room, the majority of them are African American and how this impacts them, that the National Football League was reluctant to reach out to those players and see why this matters to them so much.
"I will not let it silence me or stop me from fighting", he said. "And it has nothing to do with kneeling". It's never been about that.
"I just think that when you love something - you care about it - you want to work to get it right". There's Kaepernick, Eric something or other, I think a guy on the Chiefs, maybe some Eagles, that one guy and definitely no Patriots. I think this illustration of a new statement of what's going to be is going to have an effect that we're going to have to deal with. "I don't think that is a sign of disrespect".
Instead of taking care of the matter immediately, National Football League officials and owners dithered, spoke countless words about respecting the players' right to free speech and then tried to buy players off by committing $90 million to social justice causes over the next seven years.
"He's an idiot. Plain and simple", Baldwin said. We've lived through it here with the men in the locker room and we were making real progress.
Some other Saints players, including defensive end Cameron Jordan and offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod, have expressed their displeasure with the new rule on social media.
Wilson said the controversy over the anthem itself takes away from the bigger issues at hand. My understanding is very vague, so maybe I need to get a better understanding of it.
"I love my children". Everybody is not going to have the same opinion on things. Just because someone disagrees or has an issue with something that is going on in this country, doesn't mean they should pack up and leave.
"I'm on the record what I think about the national anthem". Nationalism is loving your country just to love it, you know, even when it's right or wrong, you're going to take the side of your country.
But at least the poor schlub fan, who works hard, loves the US and has sacrificed to bring his family of four to one National Football League game a year, won't have to witness something so disrespectful as an intended affront to the most free and generous country in the world.
Whether any Saints will protest in some fashion next season is unclear, but Payton said he trusts the veteran leaders on the team to guide the group to appropriate action, whatever that may be.
"I don't expect it to be an issue with this team with the leadership we have on this team and the communication we have in this building", he said.
"I'm sure it's something that will be addressed, by the players and by the coaches, collectively", Lions receiver Golden Tate said Thursday.