Failed presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to Sirius XM Monday about President Trump's criticism of NFL players who refuse to stand for the Anthem as a form of protest in which he called for them to be fired. Clinton defended the players’ protest and called Trump’s criticism “deeply troubling.”
"Well, I think it's deeply troubling that the president would be attacking black athletes for expressing their opinions peacefully,” Clinton told SiriusXM host Zerlina Maxwell. “Protest is a part of the American way of life and it’s something that I’m very proud of whether I agree or disagree peaceful protest is part of what has helped us make progress, learn more, be a better country over time.”
“I just couldn't help thinking that he has attacked these black athletes for peacefully protesting, but he doesn't really attack white supremacists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klanners, or Vladimir Putin, who interfered in our election and I think it’s all part of his political calculation and I really think it’s bad for the country. He wants to set people against each other, he wants to divide us," she added.
Various NFL teams staged protests Sunday after President Trump tweeted that the NFL should fire players who knelt for the National Anthem as a form of protest. One hundred and fifty players total knelt during the Anthem. Refusing to stand during the Anthem is not a popular form of protest among many of the NFL's viewers, a recent study found that 34 percent of Americans are less likely to watch NFL games due to the protests.
Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the Anthem last year as a protest of police brutality.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media in an interview at the time. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."