- The Washington Times - Monday, September 25, 2017

President Trump praised NASCAR Monday for standing up and defending the national anthem, as he publicly spars with the NFL.

“So proud of NASCAR and its supporters and fans. They won’t put up with disrespecting our Country or our Flag - they said it loud and clear!” Mr. Trump tweeted.

Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick brought attention to the issue last season when he knelt during the “The Star-Spangled Banner” in protest of police treatment toward blacks. Mr. Kaepernick is not currently playing in the NFL, but several players have taken a knee during the anthem this season in protest.

The president reignited the debate in the NFL on Friday calling any player who takes the knee a “son of bitch” during a rally in Alabama on Friday. In response to the president, several NFL players and owners released statements disagreeing with the president and criticizing his sentiments.

SEE ALSO: Trump: NFL kneeling not about race

But many NASCAR owners agreed with Mr. Trump, saying they will not tolerate such a spectacle at their races. At a race in New Hampshire on Sunday, there were no protests from any NASCAR teams.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., a NASCAR driver, did tweet his reaction to Mr. Trump’s condemnation of NFL players who take the knee, arguing that everyone has a right to express themselves.

“All Americans R granted rights 2 peaceful protests,” he tweeted then quoted former President John F. Kennedy. “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable-JFK.”

The president went on to criticize the NFL players in additional tweets on Monday saying the issue isn’t about race, but rather about respecting the flag.

“Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday (which was a small percentage of total). These are fans who demand respect for our Flag!” he tweeted.

“The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!” he added.

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