It was only a matter of time before Donald Trump was going to chime in about Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest movement.
During a stop in Huntsville, Alabama, the 45th President, who was there in support of primary Senator Luther Strange’s primary campaign bid, made some rather insulting remarks about NFL players who kneel, raise a fist or sit during the anthem in protest of systemic racism in America.
Midway through the rally, Trump asked his supporters if they’d "love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'get that son of a bitch off the field right now.'"
"He's fired," followed up Trump as the crowd cheered him on. "He's fired." The president also said that any owner who would actually fire a player for expressing his First Amendment right would become "the most popular person, for a week, they'll be the most popular person in this country."
The response to Donald Trump’s comments, of course, set the Internet ablaze. Surprisingly, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell condemned the remarks as “divisive.”
“Comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities,” Goodell said in the statement.
NFL players also had a response. Washington Redskins linebacker Zach Brown told Trump to "stay in ur place." See the NFL and social media as a whole’s reaction to Trump’s anthem comments below.
New NFL statement pic.twitter.com/XHPgVvPPfH— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) September 23, 2017
Trump stay in ur place... football have nothing to do wit u smh— Zach Brown (@ZachBrown_55) September 23, 2017
It's a shame and disgrace when you have the President of the US calling citizens of the country sons of a bitches.— Bishop Sankey (@BishopSankey) September 23, 2017
Does anyone tell trump to stick to politics, like they tell us to stick to sports? Smh.— Eric Ebron (@Ebron85) September 23, 2017
He's not even good at that lol https://t.co/txqH0ACkQg— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) September 23, 2017
Trump on white supremacist rally marchers: "Very fine people"— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) September 23, 2017
Trump on NFL anthem protesters: "Son of a bitch" https://t.co/uCyb0q0V0h
No one is protesting the anthem and if you contribute to that false narrative, you’re part of the damn problem. https://t.co/m4mdwAYTR7— Michael Arceneaux (@youngsinick) September 23, 2017
Trump a lot tougher on Colin Kaepernick than on Vladimir Putin. Protesting American anthem: bad. Subverting American democracy: no big deal.— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) September 23, 2017
If you're more bothered by kneeling during the anthem than Russian election meddling, please spare us the lecture on patriotism #TakeAKnee— Nunca Trump (@NeverTrumpTexan) September 23, 2017
(Photos from left: John Moore/Getty Images, Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for TIME)