President Trump is clear he is not budging on his criticism of national anthem protests but he did have an offer for the kneeling NFL players.
Trump extended the olive branch to players in the National Football League who have repeatedly been called out by him for protesting during the national anthem by kneeling, sitting or staying in the locker room.
“You have a lot of people in the NFL in particular but in sports leagues, they’re not proud enough to stand for our national anthem. I don’t like that,” Trump said to reporters before heading out for the G-7 Summit in Canada.
“What I’m going to do is I’m going to say to them instead of talk…I am going to ask all of those people to recommend to me — because that’s what their protesting – people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system … I understand that,” Trump continued. “I’m going to ask them to recommend to me people that were unfairly treated. Friends of theirs or people they know about and I’m going to take a look at those applications.”
The president promised if his “committee finds they’re unfairly treated, we will pardon them or at least let them out.”
Trump noted that he has about 3,000 people on a list for pardon consideration because they believe they have been unfairly treated by the criminal justice system. Protesting NFL players have said they are speaking out against police violence and racial injustice by refusing to stand during the anthem.
The president issued a pardon this week to Alice Johnson, a 63-year-old grandmother who was serving a life sentence after being jailed in 1996 on a non-violent drug charge.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 7, 2018
Johnson’s was Trump’s seventh pardon after he commuted the sentences of others, including former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, former Navy sailor Kristian Saucier and Conservative writer Dinesh D’Souza.
President Trump also granted the first black heavy-weight champion Jack Johnson a posthumous pardon and is reportedly considering one for boxing legend Muhammad Ali.