Now Trump Twists The Knife With NFL, Saying He Is 'so Proud Of NASCAR' For Warning Drivers Not To Join Anthem Protest

President Donald Trump stoked his dispute with the National Football League over the National Anthem, tweeting Monday that he is 'so proud of NASCAR' and that the controversy had 'nothing to do with race.'

Trump issued the provocative tweet after his dispute with professional athletes led news and sports coverage over the weekend, after he called for NFL players who refuse to stand for the National Anthem to get suspended or fired. 

'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!' Trump tweeted.

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

President Donald Trump tweeted Monday that he was 'so proud of NASCAR and its supporters and fans' as he said the flag controversy had 'nothing to do with race'

President Donald Trump tweeted Monday that he was 'so proud of NASCAR and its supporters and fans' as he said the flag controversy had 'nothing to do with race'

The president followed up: '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!'

Trump fueled the controversy after more than 200 players defied his criticism by kneeling or linking arms during nationally televised games on Sunday.

Trump also brushed off criticism that race was involved in his attacks. He told reporters as he boarded Air Force One Sunday night: ''I never said anything about race.' He added: ''This has nothing to do with race or anything else. This has to do with respect for our country and respect for our flag.' 

The players he targeted, San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick and Golden State Warriors basketball star Stephen Curry, are black.

President Donald Trump tweeted Monday that he is 'so proud of NASCAR' and that the controversy had 'nothing to do with race.'

President Donald Trump tweeted Monday that he is 'so proud of NASCAR' and that the controversy had 'nothing to do with race.'

Racing legend Dale Eearnhardt Jr. rebuked the president with a tweet Monday morning

Racing legend Dale Eearnhardt Jr. rebuked the president with a tweet Monday morning

Racing legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. rebuked the president with a tweet Monday morning with a quote from President John F. Kennedy. 'All Americans R granted rights 2 peaceful protests Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable-JFK,' he wrote.

NASCAR's share of white audience was 94 per cent, according to a 2014 Atlantic story.  

At New Hampshire Motor Speedway Sunday, there were no signs of protest at a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series events before the race. Some owners backed up Trump.

Team owners Richard Childress and Richard Petty backed up the president. 'Get you a ride on a Greyhound bus when the national anthem is over,' Childress said in a message to drivers who would refuse to stand.

Trump told an Alabama crowd Friday night; 'Wouldn't you love to see one of these N.F.L. owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he's fired!'

Trump tweeted that he was 'so proud' of NASCAR and its fans. NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott (C) talks with son Chase Elliott (L), driver of the #24 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (R), driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, during pre-race ceremonies for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 24, 2017 in Loudon, New Hampshire

Trump tweeted that he was 'so proud' of NASCAR and its fans. NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott (C) talks with son Chase Elliott (L), driver of the #24 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (R), driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, during pre-race ceremonies for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 24, 2017 in Loudon, New Hampshire

Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota, stands during the national anthem prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 24, 2017 in Loudon, New Hampshire

Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota, stands during the national anthem prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 24, 2017 in Loudon, New Hampshire

Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, stands during the national anthem prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 24, 2017 in Loudon, New Hampshire

Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, stands during the national anthem prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 24, 2017 in Loudon, New Hampshire

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, stands for the national anthem during pre-race ceremonies for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 24, 2017 in Loudon, New Hampshire. NASCAR released an official statement stating the right to silent protest, following a national anthem controversy stoked by President Donald Trump

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, stands for the national anthem during pre-race ceremonies for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 24, 2017 in Loudon, New Hampshire

Major Thompson completed his last flight as pilot was introduced by Trump to reporters. Trump is pictured greeting Lynel Thompson, wife of the Marine pilot, and their two children

Major Thompson completed his last flight as pilot was introduced by Trump to reporters. Trump is pictured greeting Lynel Thompson, wife of the Marine pilot, and their two children

He added: 'You know, some owner is going to do that. He's gonna say, 'That guy disrespects our flag, he's fired.'   

Trump gave an impromptu press briefing while boarding Air Force One on Sunday evening to address his criticism of NFL players who took a knee during the national anthem. 

Trump also tweeted over the weekend that he was 'Please to inform that the Champion Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL will be joining me at the White House for Ceremony. Great team!'

President Donald Trump stoked the NFL controversy with a series of Tweets Monday morning

President Donald Trump stoked the NFL controversy with a series of Tweets Monday morning

President Donald Trump stoked the NFL controversy with a series of Tweets Monday morning

President Donald Trump stoked the NFL controversy with a series of Tweets Monday morning

President Donald Trump stoked the NFL controversy with a series of Tweets Monday morning

President Donald Trump stoked the NFL controversy with a series of Tweets Monday morning

The Penguins have an all-white roster that also includes a large number of Canadians. 

And to reaffirm his pro-military stance, upon landing in Washington he met with Marine One pilot Major James Thompson and his family. Major Thompson recently completed his last flight in service and was introduced by Trump to reporters at the White House.  

Driving his criticisms home for the evening, he then tweeted: 'Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country.

'NFL should change policy!'

It's unclear what policy Trump was referring to. 

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Upon his return to the White House he tweeted: 'Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. 'NFL should change policy!'

Upon his return to the White House he tweeted: 'Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. 'NFL should change policy!'

Sports analyst Bob Costas told CNN that 70 per cent of NFL players are black

'The idea that this doesn't have something to do with race is preposterous,' Costas said. Most of the initial protesters were black.

During Sunday's NFL games more than 200 players defiantly reacted to Trump's criticism by kneeling, sitting linking arms, giving black power salutes and not even showing up for the singing of the anthem.

Unsurprisingly Trump took to Twitter to respond - writing: 'Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!'

He quickly followed up with: 'Courageous Patriots have fought and died for our great American Flag - we MUST honor and respect it! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!'

The tweets doubled down on comments he made during a speech in Alabama Friday night. 

During the speech he said any player who protests racism by kneeling during the national anthem is a 'son of a b****'. 

The protests were started before the 2016 season by quarterback Colin Kaepernick - who used his public platform to protest police brutality and racism.

Reaffirming his pro-military stance, the president also met with Marine One pilot Major James Thompson as he arrived back in Washington

Reaffirming his pro-military stance, the president also met with Marine One pilot Major James Thompson as he arrived back in Washington

On Sunday evening Trump told reporters that his criticism has 'nothing' to do with race, saying: 'I never said anything about race. 'This has nothing to do with race or anything else. This has to do with respect for our country and respect for our flag'

On Sunday evening Trump told reporters that his criticism has 'nothing' to do with race, saying: 'I never said anything about race. 'This has nothing to do with race or anything else. This has to do with respect for our country and respect for our flag'

Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday afternoon after at least 150 players protested during the national anthem He also tweeted to say that protesting the flag is the equivalent of disrespecting war veterans

Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday afternoon after at least 200 players protested during the national anthem

Washington Redskins tight end Niles Paul (84) and linebacker Ryan Anderson (52) and Washington Redskins linebacker Chris Carter (55) kneel with teammates during the playing of the national anthem. Every member of the team and the coaches either took a knee or linked arms during the singing

Washington Redskins tight end Niles Paul (84) and linebacker Ryan Anderson (52) and Washington Redskins linebacker Chris Carter (55) kneel with teammates during the playing of the national anthem. Every member of the team and the coaches either took a knee or linked arms during the singing

Some members of the Oakland Raiders sit on the bench during the national anthem on Sunday night .The whole team and the coaches were in solidarity, either sitting or linking arms during the singing

Some members of the Oakland Raiders sit on the bench during the national anthem on Sunday night .The whole team and the coaches were in solidarity, either sitting or linking arms during the singing

All of the players for the Green Bay Packers locked arms during the national anthem before they took on the Cincinnati Bengals 

All of the players for the Green Bay Packers locked arms during the national anthem before they took on the Cincinnati Bengals 

Terrance Smith #48, Eric Fisher #72, Demetrius Harris #84, and Cameron Erving #75 of the Kansas City Chiefs is seen taking a knee before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday afternoon

Terrance Smith #48, Eric Fisher #72, Demetrius Harris #84, and Cameron Erving #75 of the Kansas City Chiefs is seen taking a knee before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday afternoon

The defiance against Trump continued as games kicked off across the country with at least 20 Patriots players kneeling and many of their teammates, including Tom Brady, locking arms in unity in Houston, Texas

The defiance against Trump continued as games kicked off across the country with at least 20 Patriots players kneeling and many of their teammates, including Tom Brady, locking arms in unity in Houston, Texas

Jacksonville Jaguars players were spotted kneeling during the U.S. national anthem before the match on Sunday

Baltimore Ravens players took a knee during the national anthem at Wembley in London on Sunday just hours after Donald Trump continued his growing feud with athletes 

During Sunday evening's conference Trump also doubled down on calls for players who protest the flag to be fired saying: 'It's very disrespect to our flag and to our country, so I certainly think the owners should do something about it.'

Speaking about whether the players were just expressing their first amendment rights, he said: 'They have rights. We all have rights. 

'But when you're on the field, and, you know, there's a situation gong on, this is a great, great country,  and we have a great flag, and they should respect our flag. 

'They're making a lot of money. I'm not begrudging anything. I'm just saying they have to respect our flag, and they have to respect our country. 

Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4917438/Now-Trump-says-proud-NASCAR-NFL-fight.html

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