He claimed the athletic wear company is “getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts” after making former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick a star of its “Just Do It” campaign.
On Wednesday, the president described Nike’s marketing decision as a “terrible message” but defended its rights, according to an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller.
“In another way, it is what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people think you shouldn’t do, but I personally am on a different side of it,” he said.
Mr. Trump has been a longtime critic of players who kneel in protest during the national anthem. The players have said they are kneeling to protest incidents of police brutality against the black community.
In August, he called for players to be “suspended without pay” if they continued to protest before the games.
The NFL attempted to end the protest by requiring players to stand, but canceled that policy in July. ESPN recently announced that it will not broadcast the national anthem before games this season.
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