Trump takes veiled shot at NFL players kneeling for national anthem

U.S. President Donald J. Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives January 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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President Trump appeared to take a shot at the NFL during Tuesday night's State of the Union Address, praising a young boy in the audience as a reminder of "why we proudly stand for the national anthem."

Trump has vehemently criticized NFL players who kneel during the national anthem as a protest against racism and police brutality in the United States. He's also slammed the NFL itself for allowing players to kneel.

The remarks Tuesday came after Trump publicly honored Preston Sharp, an 11-year-old boy acclaimed for placing U.S. flags and flowers at the graves of veterans in Northern California. Sharp attended Tuesday's address as a presidential guest.

"Preston's reverence for those who have served our nation reminds us of why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem," Trump said Tuesday night.

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The line drew raucous applause from Republican lawmakers in the room. Democrats showed less enthusiasm.