NASCAR owner says he'll fire employees who protest

LOUDON, New Hampshire -- When you add up the numbers, about one in eight NFL players did not stand for the national anthem over the weekend.

President Donald Trump said that football players who kneel during the national anthem should be fired.

Trump said kneeling is "very disrespectful to our flag and to our country" and that "owners should do something."

RELATED: Nearly two dozen NFL players kneel for national anthem in London

It appeared no drivers, crew or other team members participated in a protest during the national anthem to start the NASCAR Cup series race Sunday in Loudon, New Hampshire. Several team owners and executives had said they wouldn't want anyone in their organizations to protest.

RELATED: 'Those kids have every right to protest' says WWII vet who took a knee

Richard Childress, who was Dale Earnhardt's longtime team owner, said of protesting, "It'll get you a ride on a Greyhound bus." Childress says he told his team that, "anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people gave their lives for it. This is America."

Hall of Fame driver Richard Petty's sentiments took it a step further, saying: "Anybody that don't stand up for the anthem oughta be out of the country. Period. What got 'em where they're at? The United States."

When asked if a protester at Richard Petty Motorsports would be fired, he said, "You're right."

Another team owner Chip Ganassi says he supports Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's comments. Tomlin said before the Steelers played on Sunday that players would remain in the locker room and that "we're not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda."

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The Associated Press contributed to this report
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