Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday voiced concerns about President Trump’s comments on NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice, saying Trump should not have the power to dictate who can kneel during the anthem.
“There’s a part of this story that’s starting to make me nervous, and it’s this: I am very uncomfortable with the president of the United States being able to dictate the behavior and power of anybody. That’s not where this should be coming from,” Limbaugh said on his show.
Limbaugh said he believed Trump’s motives were “pure,” but he argued that the president’s actions were unhelpful in the broader debate on players kneeling.
“Trump is continually tweeting — I know what he’s doing, and I understand why he’s doing it, and his motives are pure; don’t misunderstand. But I don’t think that it is useful or helpful for any employee anywhere to be forced to do something because the government says they must,” he continued.
“We don’t want the president being able to demand anybody that he’s unhappy with behave in a way he requires,” Limbaugh added.
Limbaugh’s comments come after the president said on Wednesday that “it is about time” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is “demanding” players stand for the national anthem after the NFL chief said in a statement that he believed that everyone should stand during the anthem.
It is about time that Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2017
However, the NFL issued a statement later saying Trump’s tweet was not accurate.
“Commentary this morning about the Commissioner’s position on the anthem is not accurate,” the statement read.
“The NFL is doing the hard work of trying to move from protest to progress, working to bring people together.”