"I don't think people should be staying in the locker rooms, but still I think it's good", he said. "You shouldn't be there".
He said: "You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there, maybe you shouldn't be in the country". "You have to stand proudly for the national anthem, and the NFL owners did the right thing if that's what they've done". That's not going to play well in the locker rooms of the league, and not among a sizable contingent of the stands, either.
The NFL approved the policy on Wednesday in a push to end kneeling during the anthem, which Colin Kaepernick began in 2016 football season as a silent protest in the face of rising racial violence and police brutality.
After a season filled with controversy over players protesting peacefully by locking arms, kneeling or skipping the national anthem on the field, Trump lauded the NFL's decision to fine teams for players who might choose to continue their dissent this season.
Trump said the owners are "doing the right thing" on the issue, which he turned into a cause celebre previous year with provocative comments at a rally and a barrage of tweets.
Donald Trump was largely responsible for national anthem protests becoming more prominent across the NFL last season, so naturally the president's name came up as part of the discussion when league owners and executives were formulating their new anthem policy.
President Trump has fueled fan outrage over the kneelers, suggesting in September that owners fire protesting players.
"I think that's good", Mr Trump told Fox, in what White House correspondents count as his 23rd interview with the conservative cable network since he became president.
'We are also fixing many miles of wall...we're essentially making it brand new, big impact. Roger Goodell, the N.F.L. commissioner, and the league's owners are evidently so insecure about their own patriotism that they have felt the need to bully their employees into a ritual sign of respect.
After the NFL rule change, Trump took no credit for the league's rebuke of the player protests, saying, "this was not me". "I brought it out".
"I think the people pushed it forward, this was not me".