BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker says President Donald Trump’s comments about NFL players who do not stand for the national anthem were “unpresidential and divisive.”
Baker, a Republican, also told reporters Monday that while he always stands for the anthem, “it’s a free country and people have the right to exercise their First Amendment rights.”
Dozens of NFL players, including 16 of the New England Patriots, kneeled or sat while The Star-Spangled Banner played in stadiums on Sunday. The actions followed Trump’s suggestion that owners “fire” any player who protests during the song.
Baker said Trump should focus on the many other “presidential issues” he has to deal with.
The governor added he considers the anthem a symbol of national unity and a sign of respect for members of the armed forces.