Bill O'Reilly Tells NFL Players to Stand Up: 'Don't Like It? Go to Canada'

Bill O'Reilly has waded into the debate over anthem protests in the NFL by suggesting players who disagree with the league's policy should move to Canada.

In May, the NFL introduced a new anthem policy, which states players would have to either stand on the sidelines during the national anthem or wait in the locker room.

Plans to implement the proposal were put on hold last month after the NFL Players Association filed an official grievance over the policy.

The former Fox News host, however, has suggested players who disagree with the policy should simply not play and move north of the border instead.

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Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles raises his fist during the national anthem as Chris Long #56 puts his arm around him before the preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field on August 9, in Philadelphia. Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

"The NFL has to wise up and say, 'You don't want to kneel, you can stay in the locker room,'" he said when interviewed by Newsmax TV's Wayne Allyn Root on Monday.

"'If you come out of the locker room, we'll fine you $10,000 at the first offense and at the second offense, we suspend you.'

"Players don't like it? Don't play, go to Canada."

The NFL has been embroiled in political controversy since 2016, when then San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick opted to kneel rather than stand during the national anthem as an act of silent protest against social and racial injustice.

Late last month, President Donald Trump called for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to crack down on NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem.

In a tweet, the president noted that the executive makes $40 million a year and demanded that he "make a stand" and kick out players who continue to kneel in protest.

With the first game of the season less than a month away, the issue of anthem protests has again reared its head last week when Dolphins receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson knelt, while defensive end Robert Quinn raised a clenched fist during the national anthem ahead of Miami's pre-season game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In response to the gesture, a police union in South Florida urged its members and the local community to boycott the Dolphins games. The Broward County Police Benevolent Association called for its members and police in nearby counties to boycott sales of tickets and merchandise from the Dolphins and the NFL as a whole.

"Anybody that disrespects the flag during the national anthem is personally offensive to me, having spent four years of my life—six months in the Persian Gulf—and having friends that have died while serving in the military," Rod Skirvin, vice president of the Broward County Police Benevolent Association, told ABC News.

O'Reilly said he was happy the police were "fighting back," insisting the players' decision to protest was misguided and opposed by approximately 70 percent of football fans.

"The police are the target of many of these kneeling protests, and the narrative put forward by some players is that American police officers actively hunt down young black men," he said.

"Those of us who understand statistics and know criminal justice know that is not true. These players are kneeling for a fallacious reason, so I'm happy the police are fighting back."