President Trump blasted ESPN’s decision Tuesday night not to broadcast the national anthem at NFL games to avoid showing players protesting on the sidelines.

At a campaign rally in Charleston, West Virginia, the president told supporters, “unlike the NFL, you always honor and cherish our great American flag.”

“It was just announced by ESPN that rather than defending our anthem, our beautiful, beautiful national anthem and defending our flag, they’ve decided that they just won’t broadcast when they play the national anthem. We don’t like that,” Mr. Trump said.

The network said it won’t show the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on its “Monday Night Football” telecasts. ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro said the policy could change.

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Mr. Trump, who has criticized the NFL for suspending a decision that would require players to stand during the anthem or stay in the locker room, ridiculed “some” players for kneeling.

“So while the players are kneeling, some of them, not all of them at all, you’re all proudly standing for out national anthem,” Mr. Trump told the cheering crowd.

He called West Virginians “true American patriots.”

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