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On “Fox & Friends” on Thursday morning, President Donald Trump gave his view, via an exclusive interview with Pete Hegseth, that NFL owners are “afraid” to take action against players who are protesting during the national anthem at professional football games.

“The NFL cannot disrespect our national anthem,” the president remarked. "They cannot disrespect our country. They cannot disrespect our flag or our national anthem. And they can't have people sitting down or kneeling down during the national anthem.

“The NFL is in a box, and they have to do something about it,” Trump continued.

“They have rules for everything,” he added. "You can't dance in the end zone, you can't wear pink socks relative to breast cancer — they have rules for everything.

“Why aren't they honoring this country by enforcing a rule that's been in existence for a long time?” he said.

Then the president said he has friends who are NFL owners who are afraid to do anything about the protests.

“They're in a box. I think they're in a situation where we have to do something. I think they're afraid of their players, if you want to know the truth,” he said. “And I think it's disgraceful.”

In separate remarks published Thursday on WMUR, Trump said that the NFL is “in a really bad box” and that if the league doesn't change, “their business is going to hell.”

Watch the president's Fox News interview in full below.

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