Donald Trump says he's rooting for the NFL season to happen as planned -- but ONLY if the players stand for the national anthem.
Trump appeared on "Outkick the Coverage" and was asked about the challenges the NFL is facing with the COVID pandemic.
"They want to open and they want to open badly and they’ve been working with government," Trump said.
"I would say this, If they don’t stand for the national anthem, I hope they don’t open."
"But, other than that I’d love to see them open and we're doing everything possible for getting them open."
Trump then went off about why he believes the kneeling protest is disrespectful to "our flag and our country."
FYI, Colin Kaepernick and other kneelers have repeatedly said the demonstration is to put a spotlight on police brutality and social injustice ... but Trump is still not buying that explanation.
"They can protest in other ways, they shouldn’t protest our flag or our country," Trump said.
"If the NFL didn’t open, I'd be very happy if they don’t stand for the flag and stand strongly ... .I'd be very happy if they didn’t open."
"That being said, I'd love to see them open."
Trump also went after the NBA for what he sees as hypocrisy -- players, coaches, refs and more kneeling during the national anthem while not speaking out against human rights violations in China.
"Well I haven't noticed them sending things back at me," Trump said in reference to the NBA players ... "But I will say I wouldn't be that surprised."
"Some are very nasty, very very nasty and frankly very dumb but I haven't noticed that."
Trump added, "But I will say this, the way they cater to China, the way they bow to China it's a disgrace frankly and they make a lot more here than they do from China."
Remember, several players recently said they wouldn't care if Trump stopped watched NBA games as a result of the kneeling demonstrations. Trump didn't address those comments directly.
Trump also claimed NBA ratings are way down and insisted the league is in "big trouble."