President Donald Trump has the right to speak out against NFL players protesting during the national anthem just as the players have their First Amendment right to express their views, legendary college football coach Lou Holtz said.
Holtz appeared on Tuesday’s “Fox and Friends” and addressed the controversy that saw more than 200 NFL players take a knee during the anthem over the weekend.
Trump called out the handful of players who had been kneeling during a speech last Friday, which promoted the mass protests before Sunday’s games.
“Two hundred NFL players making millions of dollars take a knee, disrespect the flag, and the president, the leader of this country, doesn’t have the right to say I think that’s wrong? This is a workplace environment and he has a right to fire people,” Holtz said. “He has a right to speak out his mind. This isn’t about race. It’s all about a philosophy.”
Holtz noted that the players would be better served by focusing on winning while they’re on the field and taking their protests to their free time when they’re off the clock.
“If [a] player wants to win, for example, he is upset because we’re not throwing the ball enough, I want to run the ball. We have a difference of opinion because we have the same goal to win,” Holtz explained.
“You are on that football team, I want to win and you want to promote a cause, that’s a problem because we have different objectives. You join this team and all come together. We have one common cause and that’s where we are getting away from what it is.”
On Tuesday, Trump called on the NFL to make a rule to prevent players from kneeling during the national anthem.