Trump: NFL players don’t have ‘real issue’

President Donald Trump told Fox News on Friday that protesting NFL players trying to raise awareness about racial injustice don’t have a “real issue.”

“They’re all saying, ‘Oh, it has nothing to do with the flag, it’s the way we’ve been treated,'” Trump said during the spontaneous interview on the White House lawn with “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy.

“In the meantime, they’re making $15 million a year. Look, I’m all for the athletes. I think it’s great. I love athletics. I love sports. But they shouldn’t get the politics involved.”

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Trump has taken a firm stance against NFL players who protest during the national anthem, referring to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other players as “son of a b*tch” and suggesting those who do not stand for the anthem should kicked out of the country.

To address the growing controversy, which some have blamed for the NFL’s falling ratings, the league recently mandated a new policy that says players who don’t want to stand for the anthem must stay in the locker room with teams facing fines for on-field protests.

The league is also allowing each team to set up its own rules regarding the protests.

While Trump originally praised the decision, he reversed course after rescinding a White House invite to the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles last week, saying players shouldn’t be allowed to “escape to the locker room.”

He also asked protesting players to submit names of people they think should have their sentences pardoned or commuted due to injustice in the criminal justice system.

In Friday’s interview he complained to Doocy that he hasn’t heard from any players.

“They’re saying people are aggrieved. OK. Let me know about it. I’ll look at it. If they’re aggrieved, I’ll pardon them. I’ll get them out,” Trump said. “Maybe they’ve called the staff. But I have not personally heard from one. Because I don’t know if it’s a real issue. I don’t think it’s a real issue.”