ABC Correspondent: Does Trump Believe Some Kneeling NFL Players 'Are Very Fine People,' or Are They All 'SOBs?'

September 25, 2017

One White House reporter used her question at Monday's press briefing to take a shot at President Donald Trump's recent controversial comments regarding NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.

"Does the president believe that there are very fine people who kneeled yesterday watching those games, or are they all SOBs?" ABC News' Cecilia Vega asked.

"Very fine people" echoes a phrase Trump used at an August press conference to describe some protesters who marched with white supremacists during the protests that turned violent in Charlottesville, Va.

"You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people—on both sides," Trump said of the Charlottesville protesters.

"SOBs" is how Trump described NFL players who have refused to stand for the national anthem before games. During a speech in Alabama on Friday, Trump called for NFL team owners to fire such players.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders resisted the reporter's characterization, saying she should not tie together Trump's comments on Charlottesville and his comments on kneeling football players.

I think you're trying to conflate different things here," Sanders said. "Look, we certainly respect the rights people have, but I think we also need to focus."

"This isn't the president being against something, which is what everybody wants to draw. This is about the president being for something. This is about the president being for respecting our country through symbols like the American flag, like the national anthem, and the hundreds of thousands that stand versus the few hundred that may have knelt," she said.