Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that, for NFL players, football is a "job" and that "they can do free speech on their own time."
Mnuchin said that, like in any office, managers and bosses can set rules for decorum without infringing on employees' Constitutional rights.
"This is a job and the employers have a right when the players are working to have rules," he said.
"They can do free speech on their own time," he told ABC's Martha Raddatz. "This is about respect for the military and first responders in the country."
Mnuchin noted that the NFL are sticklers when it comes to enforcing uniform rules, banning commemorative stickers and art on cleats.
"The NFL is picking and choosing which rules they want to enforce," he said.
Raddatz pressed Mnuchin on President Trump's decision to use an expletive to refer to those who kneel for the anthem.
"I think the president can use whatever language he wants," Mnuchin responded. "The president was trying to unify the country."
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