Trump rips athletes kneeling for anthem, calls Black Lives Matter a 'Marxist group'
'They're not looking for good things for our country,' he said
President Trump called Black Lives Matter a Marxist group on Wednesday, pushing back on professional sports players kneeling for the national anthem.
“Black Lives Matter, when did it start? Marching down the street screaming 'pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon.' They were talking about policemen and women,” Trump told “Fox & Friends.”
“All of sudden, this is taking on this air of great respectability. Well, how does it start there? It’s a Marxist group. It’s a Marxist group that is not looking for good things for our country and now I see these leagues all kneeling down.”
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The comments came after an Oklahoma state lawmaker threatened the Oklahoma City Thunder with tax penalties if the players knelt during the national anthem prior to their game Saturday.
State Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, said in a statement Friday that by kneeling the NBA was supporting Black Lives Matter and the goal of defunding the police and “its efforts to destroy nuclear families.”
“By kneeling during the playing of the national anthem, the NBA and its players are showing disrespect to the American flag and all it stands for. This anti-patriotic act makes clear the NBA’s support of the Black Lives Matter group and its goal of defunding our nation’s police, its ties to Marxism and its efforts to destroy nuclear families,” Roberts said, according to The Oklahoman.
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Trump said Americans should stand for the flag.
“When I see people kneeling during the playing and disrespecting our flag and disrespecting our national anthem, what I do personally is turn off the game and the ratings for basketball are way down,” Trump said.
“I hear some others are way down too, including baseball. All of a sudden now baseball is in the act. We have to stand up for our flag, we have to stand up for our country, we have to stand up for our anthem and a lot of people agree with me. Hey, if I am wrong, then I am going to lose an election and that’s OK with me. I am always going to stand for our country and flag.”
Fox News Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.