Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Mnuchin: NFL players can have the 'First Amendment off the field'

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin speaks at a press briefing at the Hilton Midtown hotel during the United Nations General Assembly in New York, NY Mnuchin: NFL players can have the 'First Amendment off the field'
Melinda Barton | 25 September, 2017, 06:56

"Players have the right for free speech off the field. They can do free speech on their own time", the treasury secretary said in an interview with ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz on This Week Sunday.

Players with the Jackson Jaguars and the Baltimore Ravens responded Sunday morning to Trump's demands that owners suspend or fire players who protested the national anthem. "On the field, this is about respect".

Mnuchin, echoing language frequently used by White House aides as North Korea tensions have escalated, said Trump had a wide variety of options for dealing with Kim and his nuclear ambitions and ballistics program.

The Trump administration official also said NFL players who peacefully protest for civil rights break league rules similar to when the "Dallas Cowboys wanted to put stickers on their helmets".

Mnuchin said it's "not about Republicans and Democrats" but "about respect for our military" and "respect for our first responders".

Republican adviser Karl Rove called Trump a "loser in the minds of the American people" after the president said, "get that son of a b***h off the field" regarding protesting National Football League players. "Foreign financial institutions are now on notice that going forward they can choose to do business with the United States or with North Korea, but not both". And the president says - for a long time the national anthem, this isn't about politics, this is about respect for the country and the people who have made great, great sacrifices for this country. "It has been about bringing unity to America as a whole".

"I can assure you the president's number one priority is the safety of the American people and our allies", he added. "I think the issue is the topic, and the topic, I agree with the president".