Trump: Comments about athletes have 'nothing to do with race'

The Washington Post / Getty

President Donald Trump attempted Sunday to clarify the controversial remarks he made about NFL players during a rally in Alabama.

"This has nothing to do with race. I've never said anything about race," Trump said at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., according to Abby D. Phillip of The Washington Post.

On Friday, Trump asked NFL owners to fire players who protested during the national anthem. His remarks drew widespread criticism from athletes across professional sports, including LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Richard Sherman, and LeSean McCoy.

Many NFL players have said their demonstrations during the anthem are intended as protests against racial inequality and police brutality in the United States.

Earlier in the day, the president expressed his approval of players locking arms during the anthem, but said kneeling is "not acceptable."

Trump rescinded an invite to the White House for the NBA champion Golden State Warriors on Saturday after Curry and Finals MVP Kevin Durant said they wouldn't go, though the Warriors apparently hadn't actually received an invitation.